Considering the designer’s role of raising awareness about significant issues and facilitating the potential for change through integrating new systems and concepts into our lives, Matali Crasset’s ‘Nano-Ordinaire’ focuses on the current way in which we generate, store, transmit and use energy, proposing different frameworks in which nano energy becomes the key player in providing clean power to a household, harnessed and stored through our simple everyday actions.
The French designer offers nine different scenarios, developed in collaboration with scientific advisor Paul-Louis Meunier, all presented in the form of the ‘Empathic House’. On show at the 2013 Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, the concept dwelling and furnishings shift the status of the consumer into that of a generator or supplier of energy. the project is based on a hypothesis — throughout the course of the day, our actions could generate energy for immediate local consumption by equipment with very low-energy requirements using smart materials that are mini-producers of energy — indicating that we would need to change the way in which we perceive the objects around us, and consider alternative physical relationships with them.
The structural revolving wall panels of the home would be wrapped in a breathable skin – a thin layer of osmotic film – that would allow for a one-way flow from the interior to the exterior, instilled as a means of providing more comfortable climatic conditions. They would contain a phased conductive material which liquifies as temperature rises during the day, and solidifies as it cools in the evening, releasing heat– an action which in turn would allow inhabitants to dry their clothes on one of the walls.
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