Radio Killed The Electric Star

Alice Bonicelli + Lorena Rubio Toledo

NOTE: the lamps are in the phase of prototypes. The designers are currently seeking into collaborations for further development. 

Design for a wireless lamp, by designers Bonicelli + Toledo,  exhibited in "Next Habitat", a featured exhibition from MIARD, Piet Zwart Institute, during the Milan Design Week 2015.

Radio Killed The Electric Star addresses radio waves and the way they could be used as a contemporary, ubiquitous, open source of energy.
In the last thirty years digital technologies have exceptionally increased in production and consumption: statistics show that five billions devices broadcast every day from all over the world. At the same time, wired digital technology is quickly disappearing to make space for wireless systems.
Wireless technology is based on radio frequencies and their electromagnetic field. The whole apparatus of electronic devices creates an intangible and invisible network of waves in the contemporary habitat, which is, however, definitely physical.
Radio waves travel thousands of km in a few milliseconds and transcend materials that we considered boundaries: therefore, electromagnetic fields constitute an ubiquitous and dematerialised  layer that overlays on our landscape.  We call it “radioscape”.

In our age the main concern seems to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the waves or their interference with our privacy. Our project, instead, aims to make a positive, proactive use of the electromagnetic field, treating it as an omnipresent, wireless, open-source of energy. 
Inspired by ongoing scientific researches about harvesting energy from waves, our project represents a speculative illustration on the next habitat.  
Our series of wireless lamps works by interaction with the electromagnetic field, alike “radiogenic” objects (A.Dunne,  2008 ). 
The body of the wireless lamps is made of two exaggerated induction coils: the lamps turn on when they encounter an electromagnetic field in the surroundings, thus revealing the invisible presence of it.

By this “magic” wireless interaction the project wants to trigger questions like: what would the interior look like, if every appliance worked wireless? May the magic of proximity and closeness lead to new aesthetic possibilities in our electromagnetic next habitat?

The project was featured in:, 2015
Frame Magazine (NL), n°105, 2015
DAMn Magazine (NL), n°50,2015
Domusweb (IT), 2015
Axis (JP), 2015
Artsthread (UK), 2015
LSN:Global (UK), 2015 
Retail design blog, 2015  

 Energy meet, 2015


Image credits Alice Bonicelli, Lorena Rubio Toledo. All rights reserved.