Tara Mullaney, a recent graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has made a series of responsive everyday objects, employing materials like Flexinol wire and thermochromic paint to animate objects, allowing them to communicate something about their current status to the user in a legible, non-lingual way:
A teacup that shivers in response to its tea going cold. A chair that warms when you sit in it, revealing its aspirations to be soft and comfortable. A pan whose handle becomes impossible to grasp when it becomes hot to the touch. The animate characteristics of these everyday objects allow them to facilitate meaningful interactions with their users by actively responding to their environment and evolving through their conditions of use.
Pictured above are the Porcupine pan, embedded with the shape-memory alloy Flexinol, and the Fever chair, lined with heat-tape (a low temperature heating element) and coated in thermochromic paint.
Tara said that it was important to her that all her prototypes actually work, and they do! Check out the pan in action:
These projects are on view now through July 25th at Making Modern, the School of the Art Institute's inaugural design thesis show.
More pics and videos after the jump!
Shiver Cup, embedded with a small motor and temperature sensor