Energy of Things

A near-future catalog of both real and speculative energy harvesting products, solutions and inspirations

As described in The Family Circuit, my MFA thesis at Umeå sought to critique and challenge society’s relationship with energy through a near future speculative fiction that asked “what if you were required to produce all the energy you desire to consume?” Within the narrative, a central diagetic prototype is the Energy of Things catalog, which inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog, features both factual and fictional products to facilitate a fully self-sustainable lifestyle. The catalog’s design and content is intentionally liminal and offensive, provoking the viewer to question the reality presented and potential implications of the implied lifestyle.

Mister Hands is an example of a fictional product advertised in the catalog, for which I wrote, designed and filmed a corresponding infomerical on the energy harvesting product for the Energy of Things YouTube channel. Mister Hands transforms an everyday existing product into a pervasive energy harvesting tool. The infomercial’s sexual suggestive nature presented in an ordinary, family friendly fashion, critiques the propaganda following electricity’s initial introduction into households at the turn of the twentieth century.

Within the larger project exhibition, traces of new behaviors, strange situations, and potential implications were presented as normal decorating elements.

Please visit my blog to learn more about the process including:

– a thesis role-play workshop on domestic tenstions,

– initial brainstorming, and

– my wonderful UID Product Design peers who sketched my ideas based on written descriptions.

UmeƄ Institute of Design

Niklas Andersson (thesis tutor)


Design Research, User Workshops, Concept Design, Creative Writing, Speculative Design