I’ve created what I call ‘Sound Bulbs’ that combine a light bulb connector with music players so that it’s possible to screw in your music player into any light bulb socket. I was invited to take part in an exhibition during Clerkenwell Design Week called Design Exquis. The idea of the exhibition was a little like the game of Chinese whispers in that a first designer/artist was given an object (a stethoscope), they then had to find inspiration from that to create a new object of their own. That object was then passed to me and I was challenged to create something inspired from that. This continued for 4 people. The object I was given was a ceiling lamp by ‘Plant and Moss’. I started to think about ceiling lights and the question of ‘why do we only plug light bulbs into lamp sockets?’
My first thought was that it would be interesting to have music playing from the centre of a room, to be able to plug in a radio for example. I actually don’t use ceiling lights so much and prefer table lights for a more subtle light in the room. I set about finding old radios from markets and shops that I could convert with the addition of a bayonet or Edison screw light bulb connector and a 9v transformer to connect to where the battery would normally be. I decided to demonstrate the idea at the exhibition with a table lamp also. I could have chose a minimal table lamp and a modern day music player, but decided to go in the opposite direction. There are not many opportunities in life to combine 1880 golden statues with 1980 ghetto blasters so I took it.
The table lamp also has a little pull string to turn on and off. Of course there are many potential directions to my concept. remote. I have further uses and additions for this idea in mind.
During research I discovered that the very first electric irons were powered by electric lamp sockets see this 1920′s picture below.
The link to the Exhibition facebook page is here
For larger images for use on websites, print etc please contact using the contact page.
Filed under: Drawings
Last year I lead a five day workshop at NABA, an art and design university in Milan. I set the challenge to create something I called the ‘Everyday Action Orchestra’. Each designer needed to think of an everyday action, such as waving, shaking hands, brushing teeth etc. They then needed to create an object that would make a musical sound when that action was made. There would be a performance at the end of the 5 days where everyone would perform their action and simultaneously make a sound. Hopefully it would look interesting and sound good.
Here is a recording of the performance at the end of the workshop to the rest of the NABA students.
One of my assistants was Michelle Sterchele who composed some music using all the created instruments, you can hear it below. Also some photos of the Everyday action instruments (taken by Astrid Luglio)
I’m visiting family in Central Otago, New Zealand at the moment, it’s a beautiful place and a nice rest from London.
Before I left the UK I was asked to create 12 cloud based ideas for the Milan event ‘Ready to Cloud‘. Here are my ideas below…
Filed under: Drawings
I’m giving a free talk at The Lighthouse, Glasgow on March 5th about my work and there’ll be an outcome of a 2 day workshop I’m doing with Glasgow School of Art students to see. Tickets available here.
Tonight I will be competing against a 3D printer to make a model of Big Ben on the BBC 2 The Culture Show at 10pm 30/01/13.
2012 was a very busy year for me, probably my busiest. I remember starting the year thinking that I had no idea what I will do in 2012. Then Jaffa Cakes commissioned me to nibble their biscuit/cakes in the shape of something. Around that time I tweeted ‘I want to race against a 3D printer to make the same thing’ a curator saw it and invited me to compete in Milan. I defeated the 3D printer and won a trophy. While I was in Milan I spent 5 days making something out of sticks and tape in front of the public. On return to London I was invited to the V&A museum to have a rematch against a British 3D Printer. A bit later I was asked to create a souvenir of East London and had the idea to make a vinyl record recording the sounds of East London makers at work. The record was cut about half a mile from my house in Hackney. BBC radio 4′s Today programme visited me and I talked about the sounds and the history behind the makers. It even got played on radio in Tokyo.
In September I had a solo show at KK Outlet Gallery, I decided to make a book of my invention drawings and released a little animation. A little earlier I had been commissioned to make new versions of my shoe field for Global Footprint in Northamptonshire. I was also commissioned to create a pair of shoes. After thinking about Dorothy in The wizard of Oz I decided to try to create some shoes that could navigate the wearer home. These shoes appeared all over the place in mainstream newspapers and tv such as The Discovery channel. Meanwhile I was asked to do something interesting with 3M tape. Finally I was asked to create something that would be suspended across a street inthe Seven Dials area of London. I made an arch of birdcages to represent the past history of pet shops in the area.
This year I’m once again unsure what direction I will go in, I might do some more sketched inventions for a start.
I had the pleasure of talking to Marcus Fairs, editor of dezeen.com on stage at the 100% Design exhibition in September about some of my work including GPS shoes, the value of sketching and thinking outside the normal.
You can see the full Dezeen post here
My book of invention ideas seems to be selling well, about two thirds through the 1000 printed. I had a lovely comment from Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the London olympic cauldron amongst other brilliant things. He kindly wrote, “Dominic Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn, they are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible” He mentioned a favourite of his was the motorised ladder below.
Christmas is nearly here and if you want gifts to keep your relatives entertained after their Turkey why not buy my signed book Variations on Normal HERE for only £8 so I can buy myself a Christmas pudding. Worldwide delivery is no problem but be quick for the post before christmas.
I must make more effort putting it into shops but it is available in London at Magma near Covent Garden, Artwords on Broadway Market, Theo at Somerset House arcade, The Serpentine Gallery book shop and in Edinburgh at Analogue Bookshop.
Or how about my Sounds of Making in East London vinyl record with mp3. See here.