Electric Murder

How replaceable is electricity?

Lena Xian

Scott Amron is a product design engineer who started by studying electrical and mechanical engineering. He now runs his one man design firm called Amron Experimental. The “Candull” by Amron plays with the concept of lighting in a house. The lack of electric energy used to light your house up with this ‘lamp’ is a strong key element to Amron’s design. It makes us rethink about our life choices and how we use up electricity in our houses. By replacing a lightbulb with a candle onto a lamp and having it completely working and doing the same job, the design becomes deeper than just a candle with a familiar stand. The candle even comes with a screw-in, just like a lightbulb. It almost mocks the lightbulb, letting everyone know how replaceable it really is. Colour of candle is considered within the design, too, to match the lightbulb.

The name of Amron’s collection non-electrical designs is also very cleverly thought out. “Die Electric” is an almost strange combination of words when not talking in the context of being electrocuted to death. After a very short skim through of Amron’s own description of his “Die Electric” collection, the reinterpretation of the collection name can be anything from literal to subjective. It may be interpreted as saying using too much electricity will kill our resources and we must stop and go back to our roots (candles and fire in the ‘Candull’). It may also be interpreted as Amron telling us that we should keep using electricity until we die because even after all our electricity is used, we will still be using electrical appliances as our main structure for designs  (a candle stuck in a lampstand). “Die Electric” is also a pun on “Dielectric” which means unable to flow or conduct electricity, tying in all the messages Amron may be sending through his designs.

 “Candull takes a wryly clever approach to energy efficiency, removing the energy entirely and replacing it with a dash of wit.” (Pilloton, 2007).

Amron has several other clever designs in his “Die Electric” collection including “Screwed Up”, a noose made of an electrical cord that can be screwed into overhead light bulb sockets. This seems to be a straighter forward, slightly more morbid, design that seems to help point the collection in a clearer direction. “Screwed Up” has many links between the name of the design, the collection name (“Die Electric”), the intended placement of the design, to the material of the design. A noose is a symbol of suicide or death in general, and combined with the electric cord as the material used, it purposely and intentionally eludes a message of warning to the audience; that using electricity is slowly killing us somehow. This “Screwed Up” design is a lovely addition to Amron’s collection, asking us eye-opening questions about our use of electricity and how it could affect is. “Screwed Up” is more straight forward to its message with a little less open for reinterpretation while “Candull” can be interpreted in more ways.

Screwed Up” and hung.

The “Pelty” by Gianluca Gamba also considers electricity in its design. This wireless, easily portable, Bluetooth speaker that uses candle heat to play music is more useful and less conceptual compared to the “Candull”. The idea started while being unable to run electricity to a balcony to play music. The ‘Pelty’ also considers the temperature outside of its glass casing to only use a necessary amount of energy at a time, maximising the use of its candles’ heat. ThIs design almost mocks the modern day speakers by having a just as smooth and sleek structure made of ceramic and not plastic. The ‘Pelty’’s power source is really what take the cake here when it comes to elegant speakers. The flickering, natural fire of the candle is not only resourceful for music, but romantic and ecofriendly for any place at all. The ‘Pelty’ challenges us and makes us think where we really are getting our electricity from and if we really should be using it or not, just like the ‘Candull” by Amron.

 “The sound of fire“. The modern speakers of the eco-friendly world. Designed by Gamba.

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