STATIC! is a research project at the Interactive Institute that investigates interaction and product design as a way of increasing our awareness of energy in everyday life. The Static! design research program built on two main ideas: that we, as designers, can work with energy not only from a technical but also from an aesthetic point of view; and that product use need not only be about utility and ease-of-use but also about critical reflection on energy through the objects at hand. Initiated to seed an Interactive Institute studio focused on energy, Static! was the first design research project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. It was set up to include a variety of design perspectives – from arts and crafts to interaction design and engineering – brought together within the common research program.

Energy is an increasingly valuable – but too often invisible – resource. The infrastructure for delivering electricity and the meters for measuring it are often invisible, hidden away behind wallpapered surfaces, neat packaging or distant basements. In Static!, we consider energy as a design material, and redesign everyday things to render energy more visible and tangible. Reconsidering familiar furnishings and products, we have redesigned them to materialize electricity in various ways. The result is a series of design examples including the Element, the Appearing-Pattern Wallpaper, the Energy Curtain, Erratic Appliances, the Power-Aware Cord, the Disappearing-Pattern Tiles, the Flower Lamp, Free Energy and Flow. In such forms, energy becomes more available to consumers, encouraging more sustainable practices of energy consumption, as we have explored in long-term evaluations of design examples in households.

Static! outcomes include research publications across multiple disciplines, international awards for design and innovation, patents and spin-off commercial ventures. Resulting processes and prototypes speak to a variety of audiences, including academia, industry, municipal agencies, media and the general public. In response, the Swedish Energy Agency founded the dedicated research program 'Design, Energy and IT'. Static! is an example of design research piloting new and vital areas of research and innovation.


Front, the Danish Center for Design Research, the Swedish Energy Agency, Göteborg Energi, Imego Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology, IT University Göteborg, JLT Lighting, Linköping University, Ludvig Svensson, Mälardalen University, School of Design and Crafts at Göteborg University, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID), Swedish School of Textiles at the University College of Borås, Thinlight, University of Art and Design Helsinki.

The book

The project resulted in the book Static! Designing for Energy Awareness (Stockholm: Arvinius Förlag, 2010 ISBN 978-91-85689-34-7) edited by Ramia Mazé and authored by Christina Öhman, Sara Backlund, Johan Redström, Ramia Mazé, Sara Ilstedt Hjelm, and Sara Routarinne. Click the link in the right column above for more info on the contents. The book is available through Arvinius or many libraries and online bookstores.

External homepage:
Number of items: 18.

Öhman, Christina and Backlund, Sara and Redström, Johan and Mazé, Ramia and Ilstedt Hjelm, Sara and Routarinne, Sara (2010) Static! Designing for Energy Awareness. Arvinius Förlag, Stockholm, Sweden. ISBN ISBN 978-91-85689-34-7

Mazé, Ramia (2010) RE: Thinking sustainability – Critical thinking and design practice. In: Designing for Sustainable Living & Working. VSSD, Delft, The Netherlands, pp. 29-38. ISBN 978-90-6562-244-0

Mazé, Ramia and Redström, Johan (2009) DIFFICULT FORMS: Critical practices of design and research. Research Design Journal, 1 (1). pp. 28-39.

Redström, Johan (2009) Disruptions. In: (Re)Searching the Digital Bauhaus. Springer, London, pp. 191-217. ISBN 978-1-84800-349-1

Mazé, Ramia (2008) Criticality meets sustainability: Constructing critical practices in design research for sustainability. In: Changing the Change: Design, Visions, Proposals and Tools: Proceedings, 10-12 July 2008, Turin, Italy.

Redström, Johan (2008) Tangled interaction: on the expressiveness of tangible user interfaces. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 15 (4).

Ernevi, Anders and Palm, Samuel and Redström, Johan (2007) Erratic Appliances and Energy Awareness. Knowledge, Technology, and Policy, 20 (1). pp. 71-78. ISSN 0897-1986 (Print) 1874-6314 (Online)

Backlund, Sara and Gyllenswärd, Magnus and Gustafsson, Anton and Ilstedt Hjelm, Sara and Mazé, Ramia and Redström, Johan (2007) STATIC! The Aesthetics of Energy in Everyday Things. In: Design Research Society Wonderground International Conference 2006, 1-4 November 2006, Lisbon, Portugal.

Mazé, Ramia (2007) Occupying Time: Design, Time, and the Form of Interaction. Axl Books, Stockholm, Sweden. ISBN 978-91-975901-8-1

Mazé, Ramia and Redström, Johan (2007) Difficult forms: critical practices of design and research. In: IASDR'07: International Association of Socities of Design Research 2007 - Emerging Trends in Design Research, 12-15 Nov 2007, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design.

Redström, Johan (2007) En experimenterande designforskning. In: Under ytan: en antologi om designforskning. Raster Förlag, Stockholm, Sweden. ISBN 9789187215797

Routarinne, Sara (2007) Domestication as Design Intervention. In: Design Inquiries - Second Nordic Design Research Conference, Nordes 2007, May 27th - May 30th 2007, Stockholm, Sweden.

Gyllenswärd, Magnus and Gustafsson, Anton and Bång, Magnus (2006) Visualizing Energy Consumption of Radiators. In: Persuasive Technology, First International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being, PERSUASIVE 2006, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, May 18-19, 2006, Proceedings. Lecture notes in computer science (3962). Springer, pp. 167-170.

Redström, Johan (2006) Persuasive Design; Fringes and Foundations. In: First International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being, PERSUASIVE 2006, 18-19 May 2006, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Mazé, Ramia (2005) Joining tradition and innovation in design research projects. In: Joining Forces: International Conference on Design Research, 22-24 Sept 2005, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland.

Jacobs, Margot and Löfgren, Ulrika and Mazé, Ramia (2005) Free energy: alternative designs for awareness and choice. In: Pride and Pre-Design, Spring Conference, 26-29 May 2005, Lisbon, Portugal.

Ernevi, Anders and Palm, Samuel and Redström, Johan (2005) Erratic Appliances and Energy Awareness. In: First Nordic Design Research Conference: In the Making, 29-31 May 2005, Copenhagen.

Gustafsson, Anton and Gyllenswärd, Magnus (2005) The Power-Aware Cord: Energy Awareness through Ambient Information Display. CHI '05 extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems . pp. 1423-1426. ISSN 1-59593-002-7

This list was generated on Thu Sep 21 23:36:39 2017 CEST.


In media


Static! - The Book

Announcing the first comprehensive book about the ground-breaking research project by the Interactive Institute!

Mazé, Ramia (ed.) Static! Designing for Energy Awareness.
Stockholm: Arvinius Förlag, 2010. ISBN 978-91-85689-34-7

Static! (2004-2006) has been featured in major exhibitions and research publications around the world, has resulted in a number of of spin-off initiatives, the Static! Power-Aware Cord and the Static! Flower Lamp have received major international awards. The research project stimulated a growing research area in energy, design, and IT in Sweden and abroad. The book features original texts by research leaders and previously unpublished images of the conceptual designs.

From the back cover

In Static!, familiar furnishings and products have been reinterpreted to materialize electricity, to make it more visible and tangible for people in everyday life. Investigating design (theory, methods, and demonstrators) for communicating energy consumption, the resulting series of conceptual design examples express the poetics – and politics – of everyday electricity consumption. This book presents the Static! design examples and perspectives on issues in (sustainable) design today. Grounded in passion and humor, as well as rigor and research, the book asks designers and consumers – that is, all of us – to rethink the form, and future, of electricity in the world around us.

Table of Contents

Introduction p. 7
Strategic frames, Christina Öhman and Sara Backlund, p. 11
Research frames, Johan Redström, 15
Essay: ‘Current’ issues in sustainable design and research, Johan Redström, p. 21
Perspective: Critical practice, Ramia Mazé, p. 37
Perspective: People in design, Sara Ilstedt Hjelm, p. 43
Static! Design Examples (authored by project teams):
The Element, p. 55
Appearing-Pattern Wallpaper, p. 61
Energy Curtain, p. 65
Erratic Appliances, p. 71
Power-Aware Cord, p. 75
Disappearing-Pattern Tiles, p. 79
Flower Lamp, p. 83
Free Energy, p. 91
Flow, p. 95
Perspective: Static! at home, Sara Routarinne, p. 103
Concluding Remarks,  p. 113

The book was commissioned by the Interactive Institute, the Nordic Culture Fund and the Swedish Energy Agency. It is designed by Christian Altmann and Oskar Holmquist, with photographys by Carl Dahlstedt.

Order the book

Purchase at, and other bookstores.
Members of the press may contact Arvinius Förlag for review copies.

Press release

Ny bok från Interactive Institute: "Static! Designing for Energy Awareness"

Power-Aware Cord

Power-Aware Cord

The Power-Aware Cord is one of the prototypes developed in the Static! project. It is patented and is now commercially available in Europe as a first exclusive limited edition. For information on pricing and how to pre-order, contact Christina Öhman, christina.ohman [at], +46 (0)70-22 62 233, or Anton Gustafsson, anton.gustafsson [at], +46 (0)70-36 43 434.

Participants and sponsors

STATIC! was carried out between 2004 and 2006 as a collaboration between the Interactive Institute’s studios in Eskilstuna and Göteborg. Under the management of Christina Öhman, the Static! research program was formulated under the direction of Johan Redström and Ramia Mazé in Göteborg, research directors in Göteborg, and Sara Ilstedt Hjelm was research director in Eskiltuna. The Static! design examples were developed within multidisciplinary teams, joining practitioners and researchers from various competences as well as postgraduate and doctoral students. Static! was carried out in partnership with the Front design group and with collaborators in the academic, industrial and public sectors.

Project team:

Alex Allen
Sara Backlund
Anders Ernevi
Anton Gustafsson
Magnus Gyllenswärd
Sara Ilstedt Hjelm
Margot Jacobs
Caroline Karlsson
Ulrika Löfgren
Ramia Mazé
Carolin Müller
Samuel Palm
Johan Redström
Christina Öhman

Doctoral students:

Andreas Lykke-Olesen, Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
Andreas Kvarnström, Department of Public Technology, Mälardalen University

Masters students:

Sara Danielsson and Kerstin Sylwan, School of Design and Crafts at Göteborg University
Mattias Ludvigsson, IT University Göteborg
Carolin Müller and Linnéa Nilsson, Swedish School of Textiles at the University College of Borås
Kari Leppimaa, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Project partner

Front (Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren, and Katja Sävström)

Project collaborators:

Danish Center for Design Research, Copenhagen / Swedish Energy Agency, Stefan Jakélius / Göteborg Energi / Imego Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology / IT University Göteborg / JLT Lighting / Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Magnus Bång / Linköping University, Department of Technology and Social Change, Erica Löfström / Ludvig Svensson, Olle Holmudd and Pepe Comi / Mälardalen University, Anna-Christina Blomkvist, Erik Dahlquist, Thomas Karlsson, and Fredrik Wallin / School of Design and Crafts at Göteborg University / Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID) / Swedish School of Textiles at the University College of Borås, Linda Worbin / Thinlight / University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland, Sara Routarinne