One look at the shelves of top electronic stores explains a product category seemingly locked into a singular, static message. Consumer electronics are almost uniformly expressions of the technical rather than the cultural. The aesthetic of slick surfaces, buttons, flashing LEDs, displays, inputs and outputs seem more important than the sensual domestic spaces which will host these magic devices.
With support from Swarovski, the world leader in the production of precision-cut crystal, students from the renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art have applied their imagination and Swarovski crystals to their design of high-tech consumer electronics. In this unique project, students were given the task of creating consumer electronics that do not only reflect the usual maze of slick surfaces, buttons and flashing LED displays but instead become objects that fit comfortably with a contemporary living room, wardrobe and lifestyle.
By conceiving a different kind of consumer electronics that turn away from the expression of the technological into a socio-cultural statement, the students produced a range of iconic electronics that are both decorative and sensual: function meets jewelry; high-tech meets fashion and interior design. The resulting items include a Crystal Game Station and Necklace, Fashion Headphones, MP3 player with LED-enabled crystal design, a Sparkling MP3, USB necklace, Crystallized Speakers, a “Feel the Magic” glove-shaped game controller with embedded Motion Capture Technology, the Crystal key/RFID System, a Cell Phone/Bracelet Combination, a Crystal Stone Mouse, a Crystal TV Sculpture, a Mystic Crystal Clock where movement reveals time, a Digital Camera powered by Emotion Sensor, a Crystal Clock where sparkling crystal display the time and a Crystal Wireless Phone.