Light switches are so common that we’ve build unconscious paradigm in them. They are either binary or look like a knob. I was trying not to break the paradigm just to break the paradigm, nor to introduce extra circuits/mechanisms just for the form. That being said, I was trying carefully to address a certain problem before proposing a solution.
My first proposal proved to be a common thought in the class. It seems almost intuitive to get to this nail/hook-like switch idea. This light switch is ideally and seemingly only suitable to be installed right beside the main entrance of an apartment. It creates the habit of placing the keys at (this) certain spot so that helps eliminating the chances of forgetting them. I borrowed the nail picture from muji design award to illustrate the look and feel of my desired finished look of the product. The choice of the right material would be critical for this design. The mechanism should work, while I also believe there’s room for simplification.
The second attempt is to find a possible solution to the mapping problem of many light switches. In Donald Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things, he gave an example of light switch arrangement in which the switches were neatly arranged in a vertical line and had totally nothing to do with the spatial arrangement of the lights. I would like to build a customizable switch box that you can adjust the arrangements according to the room setup. Hopefully it looks like the illustration below.
This “light switch” is supposed to be installed on a level surface. The metaphor of a chess game is used and each piece is working as a trigger for the switch. If it’s placed on the right spot on the chess board, the magnetic piece would pull up another metal piece (or the other way, a visible metal piece pulling up a magnetic piece below) and complete the circuit. The tricky thing here is to make the circuit below really easy to customize (and re-customize), and I’m trying to sketch it out in a more detailed way.
If the lower pieces are carefully adjusted according to the light arrangements, then we can have a nice spacial mapping between this chess board and the room. And you could always throw a floor plan on the board to make it uglier.
Another possible variation of this idea comes from the movable types. The whole customizable kit consists of two different types of building blocks, some of them are working switches, others are dummy space holders. It could be also extended to different shapes of blocks for even weirder lighting contexts.