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AMUN - The Pulse of the House : home

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How did this design improve life?:
According to statistics, private households can save up to 20 percent of electricity usage just by being conscious of their behavior. But how can we create consciousness about consumption among a population that is unaware of how much energy it is actually consuming?

It was important to find a way to illustrate the technical term "energy consumption" with its abstract unit of kilowatt-hour in a way everybody can internalize it. We came up with the idea of the pulse.

Mounted in a central position in the house, Amun mirrors the amount of electricity consumption: as more electricity is used, the pulsating glow gets stronger; as electricity usage declines, the glow fades.

How many of us know, for example, that the energy needed to make one slice of toast is enough to illuminate the kitchen for hours? Or that a PC uses six times more power than your average lamp?
Amun will help you to learn.
Name of Designer(s):
PETER RIERING-CZEKALLA, SEBASTIAN RITZLER, VINCENT HOLGER WECKERT - - Students of Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel, Germany
Designers professional status:
Student
Status of realization:
Not realized
Kind of design:
Tangible
Year of production, realization or publishing:
2003
Designed in country:
Germany
Used on continents:
Entire World
Short description of design:
We created a natural shape, one that would make it simple for consumers without a techno-affinity to interact without inhibitions. The result is a product that invites you to hold it in your hands. Amun´s acrylic housing with its core gives the impression of a living inner cell. By touching the sensitive area on Amun´s outer shell, useres obtain more specific information about the current consumption. The gesture of measuring the pulse was the source of inspiration for this interaction.
Functionallity and use of design:
The setup of the system is quite simple. An optical adapter on the electricity meter measures the current flow and sends the information to the main indicator. All information is collected through an intergrated radio receiver and translated to a visual readout for the user. An external device, the satellite, enables the collection of consumption informations of single devices to the main indicator for comparison.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
Amun itself would consume energy during production, but after a short time the positive effects of
energy saving would outbalance the production efforts.
Research and need:
In videotaped interviews at peoples home, we asked residents about their relationship to electricity. We learned that people know little about their electricity consumption or the price suppliers charge. And they have even less technical data about the products they are using. This is due in part to the fact that this information is not readily transparent. It is difficult - if not impossible - to glean information from an electricity bill or the cryptic electricity meter, which usually situated in an out-of-the-way and inconvenient location. As a result, most people cannot see the difference between letting all electrical devices run nonstop and conscienctiously turning off electrical appliances when they are not in use. According to statistics, private households can save up to 20 percent of electricity usage just by being conscious of their behavior. But how can we create consciousness about consumption among a population that is unaware of how much energy it is using in a day or a month? Generating awareness about energy consumption - not offering products that can save energy - became the core problem.
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