I Google, Therefore I Am?- Imaginative New Design Product Set To Curb the Power of the Internet

Light Conversation 2“I google, therefore I am” is the mantra designer Amanda Ames offers for the modern age.

Few would deny that the twenty first century is becoming markedly the era of technology. Knowledge is Google, wealth is likes on a profile picture and power is followers on Twitter. In the eyes of Stockholm based designer Ames, such confidence in our online lives is misplaced and misguided. She began to feel this online force suffocating the genuine interaction of personal relationships.

The designer, who graduated recently from Central St Martins in London, sought to devise a new gadget to coax us back to human interaction. Ames is not so bold as to call for face to face interaction, she knows our addiction to online life is too intense for such a drastic step. Rather, she suggests we make a gesture to people based interaction one sense at a time- starting with our oral and aural expressions; through voice and ear.

a light conversation white  copy_o

She has channelled these concerns into a clever conceptual gadget: a light phone named Light Conversation. She explains that its purpose is to  “show your verbal behavior. If you make no verbal calls for a week and just choose to communicate through limited media, the phone will gradually increase its light strength until you pick it up and call someone. Light Conversation then resets to day one, and repeats the procedure”.

The phone throbs and glows, each flicker a disapproving tut

The phone throbs and glows, each flicker a disapproving tut; urging the owner to take the time to put in a personal call. Unlike a status that can be deleted or a Twitter user that can be unfollowed, the phone is impossible to ignore. Without a ‘block’ button, the only way to ensure peace from its intense gaze of increasing candescence is to reach out and dial.

Light Conversation 3_o

However, all too aware of the Blackberry wielding multi-tasker- cooking, watching TV and chatting on the phone at the same time, Ames has a further design element to encourage focus on the moment of the call, “the handle is corded to prevent the user from multi-tasking, so as not to disrupt the focus on conversation and verbal delivery”.

like a glow worm has nestled its way into a block of ice

Whilst the idea of the phone is conceptually apt and intriguing, the design of the product itself is also thought provoking.

The minimalist geometry of the phone is in line with Ames’ back to basics approach. Yet the surreal nature of this glowing brick is unavoidable; looking rather like a glow worm has nestled its way into a block of ice. The fanciful nature of the design serves to reinforce this sense of technology as absurdity.

You can find out more about Amanda Ames and her design work at amandaames.com

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