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Elsa Sier: WIRED

Mar 14, 2021

Designer Elsa Sier developed WIRED, which aims to bridge the gap in communication between humans and devices with colour and movement.

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Designer Elsa Sier noticed a curious absence in our modern homes: where are all our electronics? She noticed how, despite their importance in our daily lives, we banish them from sight. As such, the recent Design Academy Eindhoven graduate developed WIRED, placing the router’s functions to life with movement and color. TLmag sat down with her to talk about her work which aims to bridge the communication gap between humans and devices.

TLmag: We’re curious, what prompted this project?

Elsa Sier (E.S.): I was intrigued by why we banish wifi routers out of our sight, with little understanding of how they work, we feel no connection with these unimaginative black plastic boxes, even though we are very dependent on them. I think we’ve all had a moment where we stared at a router and weren’t quite sure what was going on. 

TLmag: Why do you see it as important to include objects like routers prominently in our houses? 

E.S.: I think it is important to visualize Wifi consumption, with WIRED I hope to stimulate switching off and disconnecting from time to time. On top of that when the wifi router is given a prominent place in the house, in a central location, it performs 2x better compared to when it is left on the floor or in a closet.

TLmag: What are some important design decisions you’ve made? 

E.S.: I decided to work with textile because of its tactile and soft characteristics, which is the opposite of the currently used hard plastic casings. Textile has breathable properties which means that the hardware of the Wifi Router does not need a ventilator anymore in order to cool the circuit board.

The reason I developed a rib-knit is that colors can be hidden underneath the ribs that won’t be visible when the router is not expanded (connected) creating a sense of surprise and emphasis on the movement.

TLmag: Did you take away any big lessons by completing this project? 

E.S.: My biggest lesson from this project is to not be afraid of collaboration. For WIRED I worked together with a very talented programmer in order to get the electronics working, and amazing technicians at Knitwear lab in Almere. Pitching my idea to other parties really elevated my project.

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