Léa Pereyre, Claire Pondard, Tom Zambaz: Mr Time (Image By ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)

Work / Product Design

Product Design: ECAL students create bizarre smart home objects in Milan

It’s laudable that designers are working on worthy projects that will have a practical impact on building a better future, but we’re big believers that creatives should be engaged in making tomorrow a bit more fun too. Luckily for us, there are institutions like the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL).

At this year’s Milan Salone, ECAL’s Industrial Design and Media & Interaction Design students unveiled a series of weird and wonderful objects that presented “a playful interpretation take on the concept of the smart home.” These included a clock that mimics the gestures of those looking at it, cacti that respond musically to being caressed, a pair of chairs one of which reacts to the movements of the sitter in the other, a tea spoon that won’t be separated from its mug and a fan that is powered by the amplified breath of the homeowner.

It’s fair to say that some of these creations are completely impractical, but they all raise questions about our future interaction with household objects and they do so in the quirkiest way possible.


Iris Andreadis, Nicolas Nahornyj, Jérôme Rütsche: Ostinati (Image ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)


Romain Cazier, Anna Heck, Leon Laskowski: Bonnie & Clyde (Image ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)


Anne-Sophie Bazard, Tristan Caré, Léonard Golay: Il Portinaio (Image ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)


/Léa Pereyre, Claire Pondard, Tom Zambaz: Chiaroscuro (Image by ECAL/Axel Crettenand)


Victor Férier, Ludovica Gianoni, Danièle Walker: Windblower (Image by ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)


Megan Elisabeth Dinius, Timothée Fuchs, Antoine Furstein, Bastien Girschig: Voodoo (Image by ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)


Pierre Charreau, Martin Hertig, Pauline Lemberger: Cactunes (Image ECAL/Axel Crettenand & Sylvain Aebischer)