Electricity Usage & Ambient Media

Artist Natalie Jeremijenko created the “Dangling String” which I found to be an interesting concept expressed in a unique and artistic fashion. The part I found most fascinating was how the artist made something that’s traditionally invisible, visible. This led me to think about how to surface other invisible facets in our lives.

I think that a real time display of one’s electricity usage would be useful and could also be displayed in a non-intrusive and aesthetically pleasing manner. For example, homeowners, corporations and those trying to live a more eco-friendly life are typically concerned with their monthly electricity bills. One way to monitor it more efficiently would be to have a visual and dynamic display of its usage. Similar to the “Dangling String,” the display would need be a clam technology, traversing seamlessly from one’s periphery, to their center of attention and back again. This way, the user is subtly aware of their electricity usage, their impact on the environment, and they may even be motivated to make changes.

I think it’s also important to note that typically, electricity usage is monitored and read from a box located outside of one’s home or building. The information is displayed using indexical signage and generally, it’s rare for someone to spend time interpreting the data. Instead, most people receive a monthly bill without fully understanding the scope and breadth of their electricity usage. By bringing this invisible item first into one’s periphery and then into the center of one’s attention, this display could influence change and enable people to monitor and improve their electricity usage.

Leave a Reply