One of our absolute favorite projects in the Saint-Étienne Design Biennale was Anaïs met den Ancxt's Energy Solstices, a project completed as part of her post-diploma at Ecole Supérieure d'Art et de Design de St Etienne, partnered with EDF R&D (with Mathieu Lehanneur as the research director). The project was one of many inspiring design investigations in the school's "Réalisme énerg#233;tique" exhibition, and had us scrambling for our cameras and sketchbooks.
In Anaïs's project, the notion of daylight savings time is explored, arguing that its practical advantages have been blurred by technology, and that the purpose today would be to transform the practice "into seasonal rituals with a symbolic dimension."
She's done this with a set of incredibly poetic objects--all housed in a sweet wooden box, with which users can equip themselves for the changes that happen twice a year. Our favorite objects are the wind-up light bulb above, One hour of light (LED, small clock wind-up key, battery) which is used during the Winter solstice--when night falls one hour earlier. Its small clock wind-up key produces a symbolic hour of light.
Another favorite is Recto-verso clock, which slows down or speeds up the time over a four-day period, helping users to "update" their own internal clock. (That's the amount of time it takes us to adjust, apparently.) There are lots of other great items in the set, so be sure to check out the site to see them all.
More pics after the jump.
>> View all Saint-Étienne Design Biennale posts here.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.