Archive of Impossible Objects: Globes, 2019
In Search of an Impossible Object, 2018
Many Worlds Working Group (MWWG), 2017 -
Meinong's Jungle (Theory of Objects), 2015
Not Here, Not Now (Video), 2015
UMK: Lives and Landscapes, 2014
Not Here, Not Now, 2014
The School of Constructed Realities, 2014
Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, 2013
United Micro Kingdoms, 2012/13
What if... Beijing International Design Triennial, 2011
St Etienne Design Biennale, 2010
Between Reality and the Impossible, 2010
Wellcome Windows, 2010
EPSRC IMPACT! Exhibition, 2010
Designs for an Overpopulated Planet: Foragers, 2009
What If..., 2009
After Life Euthanasia Device, 2009
Work in progress, 2009
Do you want to replace the existing normal? 2007/08
Technological Dreams Series: No.1, Robots, 2007
Spymaker, 2006/07
Evidence Dolls, 2005
Designs for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times, 2004/05
Is This Your Future? 2004
BioLand, 2002/03
Placebo Project, 2001
Park Interactives, 2000
MSET, 2000/01
Project #26765: Flirt, 1998-00
Weeds, Aliens and Other Stories, 1994-98
Hertzian Tales, 1994-97
Placebo Project, 2001
Compass Table
Compass Table Portrait
Compass Table
Electro-Draught Excluder Portrait
Electro-Draught Excluder
Electro-Draught Excluder
Electricity Drain Portrait
Electricity Drain
GPS Table Portrait
GPS Table
Nipple Chair Portrait
Nipple Chair
Parasite Light
Parasite Light Portrait
Phone Table Portrait
The Placebo project is an experiment in taking conceptual design beyond the gallery into everyday life. We devised and made eight prototype objects to investigate peoples' attitudes to and experiences of electromagnetic fields in the home, and placed them with volunteers. The objects are designed to elicit stories about the secret life of electronic objects -- both factual and imagined.  They are purposely diagrammatic and vaguely familiar. They are open-ended enough to prompt stories but not so open as to bewilder.

Once electronic objects enter people's homes, they develop private lives, or at least ones that are hidden from human vision. Occasionally we catch a glimpse of this life when objects interfere with each other, or malfunction. Many people believe that mobile phones heat up their ears, or feel their skin tingle when they sit near a TV, and almost everyone has heard stories of people picking up radio broadcasts in their fillings. We are not interested in whether these stories are true or scientific, we are interested in the narratives people develop to explain and relate to electronic technologies, especially the invisible electromagnetic waves their electronic objects emit.
  • Loft: A place to keep precious objects safe from electromagnetic fields.

  • Compass table: EM fields given off by electronic devices placed on the table?s surface cause the compass needles to twitch and spin.

  • Electro-draught excluder: Strategic positioning of this device helps deflect stray electromagnetic fields.

  • Electricity drain: By sitting naked on a stool, accumulated electricity drains from the body into the chair then out of the house through the earth pin of a special plug.

  • GPS table: The table has a small display set in its surface witch either shows the word "lost" or its co-ordinates. It should be positioned by a clean window with a clear view of the sky.

  • Nipple chair: Nodules embedded in the back of the chair vibrate when radiation passes through the sitter?s upper body reminding them that electronic products extend beyond their visible limits.

  • Parasite light: A light that feeds off the leaky radiation of household electronic products; it only works when placed in electromagnetic fields.

  • Phone table: The mobile phone is given manners; the phone?s ring is silenced when it is placed inside the drawer and instead, the table top gently glows green when the phone is called.

Electronics: Jon Rogers
Fabrication: Ben Legg
Photography: Jason Evans

Thanks to: Sorrell Hershberg, Gillian Crampton Smith, Eddy Mundy, Shona Kitchen, Brendan Walker