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.)
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.
The plant pots are attached to the umbrella fabric with perfect holes cut around the pot rim.
After attaching the plant pots, the tray is added to catch any excess water.
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
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.
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.
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.
I added an on/off switch onto the saucer.
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.
Before hanging I sat the cup on a tray.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Hello old friends and new people. I’ve got a bit of news, I’ve completely redesigned my main project website, it’s got big images, videos and more content, check it out, spread the word. www.dominicwilcox.com
A long time ago I read the whole dictionary onto tapes (yes that long ago). I actually read two dictionaries, a mini dictionary and then a larger Collins one. The idea started out as part of a ‘Dominic Wilcox impersonation Kit’. A black leather case with brass engraved front held inside a copy of my clothes and shoes, a Wilcox handwriting copying kit and some tapes which started with me saying ‘Listen and repeat, aardvark…’ so you could copy my accent. I later separated out the dictionary reading to a single piece of work. Here is a sample https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24724168/dictionary.mp3%20
Pictures on my website here.
I’m going to start putting some more of my invention drawing up on this blog again. I printed 1000 copies of the first edition of my book Variations on Normal but they sold out. The book will be republished in future, can’t say more than that now but it’s quite exciting. (Email email@example.com to be notified on the next edition)
I think I worked out how to lift heavy weights using this pulley system. The added weight at the back helps make lifting at the front easy.
I once was at a photo shoot and the photographer answered his phone and I thought I’d help by holding his camera. Unfortunately the lens wasn’t attached properly and I just saw it fall to the ground in slow motion. Being a cool dude he continued his conversation as though nothing happened. It was costly though.
Come back soon for more sketched ideas soon.
oh and I’ll be talking at this interesting event in Brighton, www.reasons.to
I’m collaborating with sound artist Yuri Suzuki in a new travelling show called Sound Matters by the Crafts Council UK. Last year I was commissioned by Create 2012 to make a souvenir of East London. I made a vinyl record capturing the sounds of 21 makers in the area at work. From a shoe maker tapping his hammer to the sound of making beigels on Brick Lane. I’ve always liked the idea of creating something and handing it on to another person to find inspiration from it and create something new. I gave my ‘Sounds of Making in East London’ vinyl record www.soundsofmaking.com to Yuri and asked him if he could create something new from it. I admire Yuri’s work and he has a studio within East London so it continued my record idea of highlighting the large amount of creative makers in the area.
Yuri made what he calls ‘Sounds of Making in East London: Remix Edition’. He took very short loop samples from each of my record’s tracks, then put them all onto a vinyl record (looped grooves). He created 5 movable stylus needles so you can place the 5 needles onto the record at any position to create a form of endless rhythmic music from the sounds of making.
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.
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 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.
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.
I was commissioned by Dezeen and Shaftesbury Seven Dials to create a sculpture to be suspended across Neal street in the Seven Dials area of London. My research of the area revealed that in 1879 Charles Dickens Jnr described Seven Dials in his book ‘Dicken’s Dictionary of London’ as a place where many bird shops and bird cage makers could be found. “Every variety of pigeon, fowl, and rabbit can be found here, together with rare birds, such as hawks and owls… Here and there are shops fi lled with cages.”
I decided to make an arch of ghost like birdcages to reference the memory of the birds and the shops of that time. Each cage is left open in remembrance of the birds long departed from the area.
I have put together over one hundred of my odd yet strangely logical invention drawings into a little book. You can see some of the ideas below. They all come from a room inside my head that I like to go to every now and again. A signed book can be bought for the bargain amount of £8 on my web shop here. I’ve had 1000 printed and they seem to be selling fast.
‘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 of the London Olympic cauldron amongst other innovative work.)
In addition to the book I made a little animation by connecting some of the book’s ideas into a mini story. Hope you enjoy.
Also if you are in London come down to KK Outlet where I have an exhibition on.
I was commissioned by the Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire, a place famous for shoe making, to create some shoes. I decided to make a pair of shoes that can navigate you wherever you wished, no matter where you are in the world. I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how Dorothy could click her shoes together to go home. After uploading your required destination to the shoes via a piece of custom made mapping software and a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heel, is activated by a heel click. It then communicates to the wearer via a ring of LED lights to point in the required direction. The shoe with the GPS wirelessly communicates with the right shoe that has a progress bar of lights to show how close you are to the destination.
The Shoe is connected to a laptop with the mapping software. The user plots their destination on a map and uploads it to the shoe. The USB connection also charges the battery in each shoe.
The progress bar starts with one red light at the beginning of the journey and ends on the green light when you arrive. The correct direction to walk is shown by the illumination of one of the LED’s on the circle.
I made an illustration that was etched onto the soles. The red leather and stitcing is a little reference to Dorothy’s red ruby shoes.
I have an exhibition of my work on at KK Outlet gallery, London, running until the 26th of September. I’ve got new work never seen before on show as well as recent and past work and all my videos. I’ve even launched a book of my invention drawings and an animation. So it’s been very busy recently.
The show is open all through the London Design Festival and should be mentioned in the guides.
Dominic Wilcox – Variations on Normal
42 Hoxton Square
One of the things I’m showing is a personal collection of oddities that I own. For example on the left is this WW2 Japanese Airforce ceramic fire extinguisher. Designed to be filled with sand and thrown out of an airplane on to fires caused by bombing below. I was told by the previous owner that the technique wasn’t very effective.
Next to it is a wedgewood teapot that can lean back to use its internal tea leaf strainer.
I also have a pair of shoes that can guide you home to post about soon and an animation and book.
With thanks to Richard Shed Studio who designed the layout, graphics and design of the exhibition.
I was commissioned by CREATE 2012 to make an ‘alternative’ souvenir for East London. They wanted to commission ‘a collection that aims to be a desirable antidote to the overly-commercial, tacky souvenirs on sale across London this summer.’
I decided to focus on what makes East London unique, the large amount of skilled, creative and historical makers that live and work there. I visited 21 makers in East London and recorded the sounds of them at work. Examples included the clatter of lyric poet John Hegley’s typewriter, the chopping of garlic in a Michelin star restaurant, the tap of rock ‘n’ roll cobbler Terry de Havilland’s hammer and the sound of a bell being tuned in Britains oldest manufacturer.
I then found a vinyl record company in Hackney who cut and manufactured the record. Then I drew some of the tools and the makers for the record sleeve and added the track descriptions on the back. The record is now available to buy for £15 and includes an mp3 download code.
When I visited the makers I also took photos and I did 10 interviews. I decided to create a website that would document all of the project. www.soundsofmaking.com I hope you enjoy visiting it. Now I sleep.
After my triumphant victory over the 3D Printer in Milan I returned to home turf to compete against a new printer at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London during their monthly Friday Late event. This time I competed against a machine from A1 Technologies. I decided that we should both make a model of St Paul’s Cathedral. In Milan I used clay to make the Duomo but this time I thought I would try marzipan just to make it more difficult for myself and get closer to potential public humiliation.
I was a little surprised at the size of the crowd as I came out from behind the curtain after we were introduced.
Curator extraordinaire Beatrice Galilee gave running commentary on the event, highlighting such dramas as the fact I seemed to be struggling to get into the marzipan packet.
The maripan got softer as the heat rose so it was a bit of a challenge to make a Cathedral.
The vote was put to the crowd and they thought I had won (most likely out of sympathy).
After my victory in Milan the 3D Printer sent me this bad loser message…
As part of the Making Together exhibition in Milan I had invited the public to donate sticks of all types and sizes which I planned to tape to a chair and build a network of sticks during six days of Milan design week. It was to be an improvised creation where I would decide how it would grow while I was making it. It’s quite exciting to start from nothing and not be sure what is going to happen, particularly when in front of an expectant on looking audience.
The chair and some sticks were waiting for me when I arrived with my tape.
I started attaching the sticks to the chair.
I placed a spotlight I found at the exhibition and pointed it onto the white wall to create shadows.
Half way through week.
The idea I came to Milan with was to build a bridge of sticks between two chairs but I changed my mind and wanted to build on one chair with only the legs of the chair touching the ground. I wanted to see how far I could push the strength of the tape and balance of the chair.
I decided to draw the shadow onto the wall with the same tape.
Me in the sticks.
On the third day I was told that the chair had toppled over in the night and so I strengthened with more tape. I added a chair on one side to try to balance out the weight.
Sometimes I would come into the room and some members of the public were attaching stick to the ‘tree’. This wasn’t part of my plan but I was tempted to see what they did. Collaboration with the public can be interesting but it is important that they understand the rules and restrictions of what needs to be done. I ended up having to remove the 5 or 6 additions as they weren’t strongly taped or in the best positions for a good structure. I decided to continue with just me adding things but the public bringing the sticks throughout the day.
The shadow moved continuously due to the weight of new sticks being added, but I just drew over the new shadows.
At the end the stick structure was moved to a new room leaving the shadow drawing as a permanent piece.
You can see my pre-plan post here
See the other project I did in Milan, a competition against a 3D printer to make a cathedral, man vs machine here.
)Update to the below: Rematch at the V&A see here ).
I won the battle of Man vs Machine in Milan at the Hacked event at La Rinascente department store! The challenge was for me and a 3D Printer to make the best model of the nearby Duomo cathedral within 1.5 hours. The age of 3D Printing is here but there is a discussion around where it is heading and how useful it will be. What can a human do that a machine can’t? Can the hand created object give something that a computer cannot? Or can machines do everything better? Is computerised perfection emotionless?
There was a big crowd and many people stayed for the whole time watching the progress intensely.
The clock counted down for 90 minutes, there was a little beep for every second which made me nervous.
(No Plugs) I bought a white dressing gown like the boxers and added some messages with red tape I was using in my other exhibition. We came out to the sound of the Rocky theme music.
The 3D printer was a Makerbot and was controlled by the team at wefab.it. They really got into the performance and called their machine Deep Pink after the famous ‘Kasparov vs Deep Blue’ chess match. I chose to make mine from clay. I have never made anything from clay before so was a little unsure about the result. I notice in the photo above there is a man with an old film camera. (Very suitable to the event hand/digital.)
I took some photos of the Duomo but when I started I found it difficult to remember what shape it was. There were many people around photographing and filming and for a few minutes I was thinking ‘what am I doing?’. However once I had made the first blocks I could see potential in the model and I focused on my task.
stop motion video
I was hearing that the 3D Printer had a little problem half way through, the model was moved a little and started printing slightly to the side, but it was fixed. The real Duomo has many details and the makerbot 3d printer is quite a simple but a fun DIY style machine.
The Editor in chief of the italian magazine Domus Joseph Grima was the referee and decided to award the prize to me.
The prize was a large ceramic ‘subbuteo’ of football team AC Milan.
‘I eat computer chips for breakfast’ Me and the We Fab team from Milan.
Thanks to curator Beatrice Galilee for the Hacked event she invited me to, referee Joseph Grima and wefab.it for their enthusiasm and skills.
More pics here
Update: After my victory the machine sent me this bad loser messages…
There is talk of another match in London very soon with a different 3D Printer. This could be an event the grows and develops. Keep following.
You can read the background to this event on my previous post here
See the other thing I made in Milan here with tape, sticks and a chair here.
During this year’s Milan design week I will be spending 6 days at the Making Together event in Ventura Lambrate. The theme of the event is participation and collaboration and I was asked to come up with an idea of what I could make there.
My project is titled ‘Between your thoughts and mine’ and attempts to symbolise the connection between two people sharing their knowledge and ideas. It is inspired by the knowledge that our mind holds all the things we’ve ever seen and experienced, and ideas come about by linking these apparently unconnected things together.
My plan is to attempt to build a tree like network of sticks and stick shaped, everyday objects, attached to two chairs using duct tape. The public (that’s you my friend) are invited to bring sticks that can be added to the structure including brushes, walking sticks, a flute, a tennis racket in fact anything that has a stick shape is welcome.
This completely improvised method of making has an unpredictable outcome, it will start by me attaching a stick to a chair leg with some tape and then continuing to build upwards, connecting stick to stick. My aim is to try to connect the stick networks of two chairs together to create a bridged ‘conversation’ between them. The only parts touching the floor are the chair legs.
I asked the organisers to find two chairs and some sticks to get started and then ask the public to bring their own sticky things to add to it. I have no idea what this will turn out like in reality but something will happen. If you are in Milan pop in and say hello (and bring a sticky thing).
Edit. The idea was influenced in part by my earlier door stop extension idea I did during my Speed Creating project.
Making Together: Milan Design Week
April 17th – 22nd 2012.
Ventura Lambrate Spazio Logotel,
via Ventura 15 Website