A light switch as a coat hook and a plug-in noose are part of a series of products titled Die Electric by American designer Scott Amron. The series, which makes non-electrical use of power outlets, was designed to highlight the issue of energy wastage. “I feel like a lot of people don’t correlate the burning of fossil fuels to electricity use,” says Amron.
“I don’t think people understand that it’s just as bad as driving
The designer, an electrical engineer and inventor, got the idea while looking for a place to put his toothbrush: “I was in my bathroom, it was empty but there was always an outlet nearby.”
The toothbrush holder sparked off a chain of ideas including plug-in shelves, fire extinguishers, chairs, vases, towels and, more esoterically, a noose and a cork. “I wanted to provide some sort of social commentary, and that’s where the cork came from – preventing potential usage, preventing leakage.”
But Amron’s favourite is a light switch that can be used as a coat hook – but only in the off position. “You look at it on the wall, and it’s very obnoxious,” Amron says. “It’s saying ‘don’t switch me, I’m a drain on society’. It’s designing a reason to keep it in the off position.”
All the designs are completely non-conducting and safe – but Amron doesn’t recommend using the noose. They were designed without production in mind, but New York’s Museum of Modern Art has expressed interest in making versions of the toothbrush holder and cork for sale in its shop.