Short Film: The Reinvention of Normal

I’ve been featured in a short film by Liam Saint-Pierre who followed me around while I tried to think of new ideas. He even travelled up north with me to talk to my parents. You can view the film here….

“Go straight off the wall” said his dad and Dominic does just that. This film follows Dominic Wilcox, an artist / inventor / designer, on his quest for new ideas….Transforming the mundane and ordinary into something surprising, wondrous and strangely thought provoking.

Directed & Produced by Liam Saint-Pierre (liamsaintpierre.com)
Edited: Sam White
Post Production: The Whealhouse (thewhealhouse.com)
Original Artwork & animation: Dominic Wilcox
Additional Animation: Shroom studios (shroomstudio.com)
Original Music: Olly Jenkins (ollyjenkins.com)
Sound Mix: Iain Grant
Dominic Wilcox’s project website: dominicwilcox.com
Dominic’s book ‘Variations on Normal’ : dominicwilcox.com/the-book

The Reinventing of normal
The film features a quick idea by me to listen to birds by attracting them with a tray of bird seed on a pole with a listening horn and tube.

TRON_06

stainedglassdriverless

The Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car of the future goes for a spin.

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Dominic and his father Derek.

What to do when you spill red wine on your carpet

The sight of red wine spilling on a cream carpet has traumatised many before. Panic kicks in and various desperate methods are used to remove the stain. However my idea is quite the opposite of this approach. Let’s make the most of this bordeaux blunder. With careful attention the red blemish can be enlarged to create a beautiful replica of an ornate rug…

rugspiller2

Stained Glass Driverless Car of the Future

stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox

Dominic Wilcox in his Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car. (all photos by Sylvain Deleu)

In September 2014 I was asked by MINI the car people and Dezeen.com the design blog to create my ‘vision for the future of mobility’. I thought about driverless, automated vehicles and how they are an inevitable part of our future world. I needed to focus my mind on a year so I chose 2059, 100 years after the launch of the original Mini car. I proposed the idea that in 2059, driverless cars will be common place, in fact there will be motorways on which only driverless cars are allowed. This will mean that they are extremely safe and will have zero collisions. It will become far safer to ride in a computer controlled car than a human driven car. This means that car designers will be free to concentrate on creating a ‘living space on wheels’. No longer bound by modern day bumpers, airbags and other safety requirements etc.

stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox

I decided to demonstrate this vision of a safe future by making a stained glass car with only a bed inside. Glass being extremely fragile and sleeping being the most vulnerable time we have. I was inspired by a trip to Durham Cathedral in the North East of England where I am from. In my car, the passenger will be transported to their chosen destination while they rest or sleep. Once they arrive they will wake up covered in coloured glass reflections.
stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox  stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox
To make the car I needed to design and build the chassis frame/base. Here I worked closely with Middlesex University Product Design Department lead by Wyn Griffiths, technical tutor Neil Melton and recent star graduates Chris Brennan and Harry Bradshaw. They were a huge help working out the wood structure that would support the glass and making it. Once this frame was made I took it to ‘Lead and Light’ a stained glass workshop in Camden, London. I took a 5 day course in stained glass making and started work cutting and soldering the glass onto the car. I was advised by stained glass expert Lynette Wrigley and assisted by Massimo Cappella.

The making of the base and frame took about 5 weeks and the glass also about 5 weeks. It was very much a case of working it out as we went along. The car was revealed during the London Design Festival at an exhibition called Design Junction. It has received a huge amount of interest from press and media and is currently travelling from exhibition to exhibition in the UK.
crafts magazine glass car

I also made a fictional website where you could order your driverless taxi to pick you up and take you where you wish. www.taxirobot.co.uk

My new inventions book, Variations on Normal.

Variations on normal book

{UPDATE: Variations on Normal is out now!

Available in shops and online such as Amazon

Also signed copies available from my shop sent worldwide. }

I’m very happy to say that I have a book of my invention drawings coming out on the 21st of August.  Earlier this year I signed a book deal with publisher Square Peg for a hard back, 128 page book full of my odd yet perfectly logical invention drawings.

Available to buy:

Worldwide delivery and signed by Dominic via the webshop £10 + Delivery

Or on Amazon.com here
in UK on Amazon.co.uk Or Waterstones or Foyles 

Germany amazon.de

Italy amazon.it

France amazon.fr

Or buy the Kindle version on all Amazon sites.

Variations on Normal

I’ve been lucky enough to get some nice quotes about the book from interesting people.
Paul Smith Variations on Normal

Really bad jokes… I love them! Really great illustrations… I love them!” (Paul Smith, fashion designer)

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.” (Thomas Heatherwick, designer)

A delightful book of invention drawings ” (Ron Arad, architect)

‘I love this book. Laugh-out-loud funny. I want a salty thumb lolly now!’ (Harry Hill, comedian)
‘From funny through ingenious and all the way to sad, Wilcox’s resourceful ideas make for poignant questions on the way we accept the world around us’
(Daniel Charny, curator of Power of Making exhibition, V&A museum)

I made some animated gifs of some of the pages….

toothbrush Maracas

yoyo bungee

In late 2012 I self published a book of my drawings and they sold out quickly, this book includes an additional 28 new ideas now totalling around 125 of my bonkers inventions.

NEWS: I’m going to be on BBC Radio 4, Loose Ends on Saturday, 16th August, 1815-1900 GMT, talking about the book. You can listen here

Thanks
Dominic

Helium Filled Flying Suit

Helium filled flying jump suit

I regularly come up with ideas for a project but end up not using them. Here’s one I did for my Selfridges window of inventions. A helium filled flying suit. I want to gently drift across the city to go to the pub or visit tower block living relatives…

(See the ones I did make here.)

Get more attention on your engagement ring

side signage ring by Dominic Wilcox

Yes you’re engaged, yes you have a beautiful ring, but there are still people walking by you without noticing it. How can this be? Are they blind? Obviously some people need an extra clue as to where to look. Here is the solution, ‘Side signage rings to bring more attention to your engagement ring’.

 

My book ‘Variations on Normal’ will be out on August 21st, full of absurd yet logical invention drawings like the one above. More details here.

 

Binaudios : Sounds of a city

binaudios

Suzy O’Hara from Thinking Digital Arts teamed me up with a technologist called James Rutherford to create an artwork currently on show at the Sage Gateshead music performance centre. I came up with the idea of making some ‘Binaudios’ that are like tourist binoculars except you can ‘hear’ across great distances. For example, point the Binaudios towards the football stadium and you will hear the crowd chanting, turn it again to the river and hear a boat moving on the water.

I set about recording over 50 sounds around Newcastle including things like street performers, the train station and the local Grainger Market. I also used some historical sounds like the sound of the long since vanished shipbuilding in the 1970’s and King George V’s opening speech of the Tyne Bridge in 1928.

Then I sketched out how the Binaudios would look. James worked out, using electronics, how to make each sound be heard when the binaudios pointed towards the location of the original sound in the distance. This gives a real feeling that the Binaudios can listen across a whole city. We worked with a local company Raskl to fabricate the Binaudio object and James hid the electronics inside the structure. I wanted the Binaudios to appear to really listen to sounds far away without the technology behind it being visible.

Visit my projects website for more pictures and information here.

Hear a sample of the sounds heard by moving the Binaudios to point to different locations.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24724168/binaudios_sample.mp3%20

binaudios

binaudios
My Dad trying them out.

Binaudios-Image-Credit-Karolina-Maciagowska
(photo credit Karolina Maciagowska)

binaudios

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The view across to Newcastle.
poolrecord
Recording the sounds of playing pool in a local pub The Tanner’s Arms.

recordingcows
Point the Binaudios to the Town Moor to hear the sound of cows eating grass.

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The venue, Sage Gateshead

The Ages of Modern Man

The Ages of Modern Man

Here’s a drawing I did called ‘The Ages of Modern Man’. I have to say that I have an uncomfortable relationship with the screen. I look at one most days but it feels so old fashioned. In the future I can’t believe we will be still staring at the internet through a glowing rectangle.

Beyond the Google Glass experiments, the advanced contact lens with dynamic text and images overlaid on whatever we look at seems inevitable at some point in the future. A blink to click, a slight finger flick to scroll. Beyond that, integrating brain boosting technology implants will arrive. My first reaction is to think I wouldn’t want to get something attached to my brain, but if it enabled you to speak 10 languages, communicate thoughts with fellow brain implanters and remember people’s names at parties, then there will be inevitable demand.

gps name rememberer
2ndbrain
date online video invention

See my GPS embedded ‘No Place Like Home’ shoes here

My inventions book ‘Variations on Normal’ is out now in most book shops. More info here here.

Using snoring to stop snoring

snoring solution

For those kept awake by their snoring partner I have come up with this idea. This device dramatically increases the volume of the snorer’s own snores using a microphone and headphone combination. As soon as the snorer starts snoring they wake up from hearing the loud noise.

My new book of inventions is coming out in August, details here.

Reverse telephone invention: A constant ringer

reverse telephone by Dominic Wilcox

Here is my idea to make a simple alteration to the household or mobile telephone. This telephone continually rings when not in use, only when you receive a call will it fall silent.

When I first moved into a flat long ago it appeared to be quite noisy due to the traffic outside, but after a week or so I got used to it. I assume this would also be the case with my new telephone.

My new book of inventions is coming out in August, details here.

Screw in Shoe Table Combo

screw in shoe table combo

Let’s make use of that upper area of the shoe. There must be loads of things we could screw into it. Here’s my everyday choice, a portable table that I can screw into my shoe whenever I need a flat surface.

My new book of inventions is coming out in August, details here.

Fly down warning device

Fly down warning device
I’ve just about finished my book of invention drawings that will come out in August. Here’s a new idea, don’t you hate it when you forget to zip up your fly? Well those days are gone with my new warning device invention. It’s easy to attach and is rechargeable via USB.

Variations on Normal book to be published!

variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox

I’m very excited to announce that I signed a book deal with Square Peg (Random House) for a hardback edition of my book ‘Variations on Normal’ with even more ideas. The book will contain over a hundred (around 125) invention drawings that are perhaps absurd and odd but also have some strange logic to  them.

In 2012 I self published 1000 books of my drawings and in a couple of month I had sold them. Earlier this year I made contact with Square Peg who wanted to publish a bigger edition with even more inventions in and sell distribute them far and wide. I took a few seconds to think (1.2) and now I’m happy to say it will be published on 21st August 2014.

If you would like me to send you an email when it does come out in order to buy please visit here and enter your email. Many thanks Dominic.

‘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.’

Thomas Heatherwick,
Designer, architect, creator of the 2012 olympic cauldron amongst other brilliant things.

Some of my invention drawings that will be in the book below. (lots of new ones included in the new edition as well)

coffinwork2gpswristladderlitter

10: Future and Past Viewing Binoculars

binocular

Imagine looking through a technologically revolutionary pair of binoculars and viewing the past or future. Simply input the date you wish to view into the keypad and select enter. Hold the binoculars as I demonstrate above and view the world around as it was, or as it will be. I spent a few days looking around East London viewing life on my street in 1922 and visited central London to see what will be happening there in the year 2045. The future looked similar to now, busy people, road works, some more high rise buildings, video advertising was everywhere, quite a lot of bicycles, it looked like the 80’s was back in fashion, again. I did notice some young people had baseball caps where the brim appeared to be an interactive screen of some sort. Unfortunately these binoculars are only useful for viewing so I couldn’t ask any questions.

Future viewing device byDominic Wilcox
Future_viewing_binoculars future_viewing_binoculars futurviewing
future viewing detail

old photo

Me looking at East London in the past demonstration.

Future and Past Viewing Binoculars were designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio.

Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book (sign up to be notified) coming out this year also full of my invention drawings, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

9: Flying London Taxi

Flying taxi by Dominic Wilcox

taxi-2

Flying Taxi’s above the streets of London.

Trafic in London gets more and more congested every day. The mayor tries his scheme and that but more and more people want to get across the City fast. Here is one of my solutions, a flying Hackney taxi cab. Ok, landing may be challenging the drivers but it will be no problem to London’s great taxi drivers.

Flying Taxi was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio

Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello. 

 

8: Toothbrush/Maracas

toothbrush maracas by Dominic Wilcox

Music and plaque removal are rarely connected. So I connected them. Add a little percussion to your dental hygiene with these toothbrush maracas.

Toothbrush Maracas were designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photograph of Dominic Wilcox’s object taken by Pec studio.  Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

7: Walking Suitcase

Walking suitcase by Dominic Wilcox

I’m tired of having to haul around my heavy suitcase. This is the year 2014 so it’s time things changed. For my Selfridges window I made this suitcase with robotic legs. When the owner wears a special tracking device the suitcase will follow wherever they go. For the window I made a model with motorised legs.

[vimeo 84786869 w=500&h=270]

Walking Sutcase was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photograph of Dominic Wilcox’s object taken by Pec studioCheck back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

6: Crystal Beard

crystal beard by Dominic Wilcox

Here I am modeling my handmade crystal beard. There are over 2000 crystals on this beard and moustache. The photograph was taken by my friends at Pec studio

Imagine the admiring glances I will receive as I dazzle down the High St to buy my Sunday newspaper.

crystal beard detail by Dominic Wilcox
A detail of the above photograph.

Crystal Beard was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year also with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

5: Spiked objects

punk tap by Dominic Wilcox

I’m posting the objects I made to hang in my window at Selfridges department store during their Festival of Imagination. This spike idea came about when I saw a photo of a pile of metal studs/spikes and thought that they looked visually interesting. I tried to imagine objects covered in spikes and thought about what would be the most unexpected juxtaposition between spike and object. After a few hours of thought going through possible objects, which usually means me just sitting still staring into thin air while my mind wanders, I gave up and put the idea to one side. Then later in the bathroom I looked at the tap and thought about the idea of chrome on chrome. I thought it would be interesting to combine chromed spikes with chrome objects, giving the appearance that the object is one piece, in one material. I also enjoyed the idea of making safe, functional objects appear dangerous.

Taps are usually smooth and clinical objects so it was interesting to mess with that by breaking up the aesthetic with the sharp shapes of the spikes. I played with various types of tap designs and location of the spikes but eventually settled on this Mohican style.

Looking around at what other polished stainless steel objects are common in our world I decided on using a teapot. I liked the simple curve of the pot and its contrast with the spikes.

spike teapot by Dominic WIlcox

spike teapot by Dominic Wilcox
spike hip flask by Dominic Wilcox

Finally I made this spiked, hip flask. Care for a drink?

(All photographs above were taken by my friends at Pec studio)

Spiked objects

Hanging in my Selfridges ‘Variations on Normal’ window.

These spiked objects were designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year also, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

4: Bugle Alarm Clock

bugle alarm clock by Dominic Wilcox

If you a sleeping through your alarm bell perhaps this Bugle Alarm Clock I’ve made may interest you. This prototype alarm clock is fitted with mini air compressor and thin vibrating rubber membrane to mimic lip vibrations. (photo by my friends Pec studio.)

bugler

Wake up alarm person inspiration.

Bugle Alarm Clock was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year also, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

3: Umbrella with inbuilt plant pots

Dominic WIlcox umbrella

Here I am checking for rain on the streets of London. Photo by Pec studio

In these busy times, the ability to do two things at once is always a welcome bonus. Here I have invented an umbrella that simultaneously allows the watering of your plants while walking in the rain.

This idea was one of the first I came up when I sat down to think up the ideas for my Selfridges window at the Festival of Imagination.

sketch

My sketch of the idea.

umbrella-close

The plant pots are attached to the umbrella fabric with perfect holes cut around the pot rim.

pottedumbrella

underumbrella
After attaching the plant pots, the tray is added to catch any excess water.

Plant pot umbrella by Dominic Wilcox

The Plant Pot Umbrella hanging in my Selfridges window, Oxford st.

Umbrella with inbuilt plant pots was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014.  Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year also,oh and I’m also on twitter here

2: Reverse Listening Device

Here’s my second object for my Selfridges window at the Festival of Imagination. I thought to myself ‘what would it sound like if I could hear the things that happened on my left side through my right ear?’ So I decided to make this Reverse Listening Device, and it actually works. It sounds very strange and I will now wear it at all times.

Reverse Listening Device by Dominic Wilcox
Reverse Listening Device by Dominic Wilcox

Above photograph of me taken by Pec studio

For larger images visit my portfolio website here
Reverse Listening Device was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio.

Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book (sign up to be notified) coming out this year also full of my invention drawings, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

1: Tea cup with cooling fan

teacup by Dominic Wilcox
I do like a nice cup of tea, but sometimes I’m too eager to drink it and burn my tongue. I designed this tea cup with inbuilt cooling fan so I can cool down my tea with a flick of a switch and drink it in safety with a nice biscuit.

teacupdetail
I added an on/off switch onto the saucer.

tea cup with fan


I quite enjoy the idea of taking something traditional, from a bygone age and combining it with modern technology. You may know about my GPS shoes I made last year as another example. The traditional blue artwork of the Wedgwood porcelain is mirrored in the cooling blades to create a seamless combination of the old and the new.

tea cup and saucer with cooling fan by Dominic Wilcox
Before hanging I sat the cup on a tray.

sketch
The original sketch.

For larger images visit my portfolio website here.

Tea cooling fan was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio. Check back for lots more of the things I made over the next few days.

Window of ideas for the Selfridges ‘Festival of Imagination’.

selfridges window Dominic Wilcox

I was asked by London’s famous Selfridges department store to fill a window with my ideas and inventions for their Festival of Imagination. Over the course of two months I set about thinking up and making fourteen different objects with a plan to create something that reflected my sketchbook pages. Instead of drawing the ideas, I have made them real, but kept the handwritten descriptions and arrows all hanging from wire.  The window is open for 6 weeks so have a look if you are passing, I titled it ‘Variations on Normal’. There are so many photos and ideas to show and talk about that I will reveal the new objects each day over the next week or so rather than in one big lump.

I hung the window over four nights, we were all allowed in the shop from 9.30pm till 6am so it was very tiring.

Keep checking back each day to see the objects I came up with and pictures of me using them around town.

sidewindow

windows

people

frontfull

window before

Me in the window at the beginning thinking ‘why didn’t I come up with something simpler’ (which is a common thought for nearly every project I do).

Fingerprint activated, no waiting, pedestrian crossing

I read an article recently on the BBC about whether or not pressing the pedestrian crossing button actually does anything. It turns out that quite a few do nothing at all to effect the time it takes for the green man to show. Sometimes the wait can be up to two minutes, think of all the things we could have done in all those minutes spent waiting to cross.

With the arrival of the iPhone 5s and it’s fingerprint reader button on my mind, I waited to cross the road a few weeks ago. A thought occurred to me as I pressed the pedestrian crossing button. What if I could pay money to speed up or remove the waiting time altogether? In fact if the button was also a fingerprint reader then it could be linked to an online account that is set up as Pay-as-you-press. Each press instantly (or as quickly as is safe) changes the red man to green and £0.40 is deducted from my account. For £0.70 you can also choose your own tune to cross the road to.

I went out on to the streets of London to test the system, listen here to find out how it went…
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24724168/quickcross.mp3%20

Fingerprint activated instant pedestrian crossing

The Quick Cross fingerprint reader pedestrian crossing button.

fingerprint pedestrian crossing

Here I designed an app for signing up to the Quick Cross system.
Quick cross road pedestrian crossing
crossroad1

BBC article about pedestrian crossing.

UPDATE: the BBC picked up on this post, at the bottom of this page… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24291571