There’s nothing like a visit to the art world to remind us that great design sometimes is kickstarted by mere strokes across space – by a genius.
Something like that happened in the UK when a young startup asked:
What if you could use a box of crayons and brushes instead of a soldering iron to create circuits for components?
It turns out that you can, and Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint, a company launched on Kickstarter – is showing the way with a curious high-tech pencil box that allows makers and explorers of all ages to get creative building circuits using techniques that swap smoking-flux-and-lead for pens, brushes, and stencils.
But that’s not all. This UK-based designer is taking the artistic approach to the next level by adding ‘Touch Board,’ an open-source, Arduino-compatible toolkit that makes it easy to add light, sound, and interactivity to papercrafts, walls, and just about anything else.
Launched on Kickstarter, Bare Conductive’s work is significant for what it enables others to do — creatively blur the lines between designer and user. Just like other projects on Kickstarter, which is why they decided to stage a novel art and design exhibition.
The ‘Kickstarter at London’s Design Museum’ exhibit, which features Conductive’s tactile tools as well as other design works is previewed below. Funded by the crowd funding giant and intended as a celebration of this London institution’s stunning new space, it’s also an excellent glimpse into design directions of the future.
Kickstarter at London’s Design Museum
– A preview of the Kickstarter-funded work celebrated in the London institution’s stunning new space.
Kickstarter –The Design Museum, London’s acclaimed institution devoted to the many facets of contemporary design, is about to reopen in a sprawling new space in Kensington. This eagerly anticipated move gives the museum three times more space to present historically important design objects and tell the stories of the people behind them. We’re proud that quite a few designs that got their start on Kickstarter are showcased in the museum’s permanent collection and celebrated in its prestigious Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition. Here’s a preview of some of the things you’ll see when the museum opens it doors to the public on 24 November.
Designer Maker User
Drawing from its permanent collection, the Design Museum will unveil a landmark new exhibition that explores the interplay between designers, manufacturers, and users, emphasizing the increasing overlap in these roles. This relationship is central to our mission as well, and a video created for the exhibition explains how designers use Kickstarter to explore bold ideas, pursue creative independence, and share their process with a community of backers who want to help make it happen.
Here are four designs that are part of the Kickstarter display in the Designer Maker User exhibition:
Paul Cocksedge’s compact audio amplifier turns old stereo speakers into portable wireless sound systems. By breathing new life into products that were destined for the landfill, he makes a compelling case for sustainability while leveraging the aesthetic charm of mixing and matching vintage designs with modern tech.
Bare Conductive Touch Board
Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint allows makers of all ages to get creative with circuits by swapping soldering irons for pens, brushes, and stencils. The London-based team took this mission to a new level with the Touch Board, an open-source, Arduino-compatible toolkit that makes it easy to add light, sound, and interactivity to papercrafts, walls, and just about anything else. Like many DIY-oriented designs launched on Kickstarter, Bare Conductive’s work is significant for what it enables others to do — truly blurring the lines between designer and user.
Emily Brooke came to Kickstarter in 2012 with a bright idea: cyclists could project a bike lane symbol in front of them to alert drivers to their presence at night. Now her Blaze Laserlight is making the streets safer, not just for individual riders but for all of London, having recently been added to the city’s fleet of Santander shared bikes. This model of a community-supported project becoming a civic resource is something we’ve also seen with architectural projects like New York’s Lowline and London’s Thames Baths.