It's important to take care of our electronics. Taking care of them means they have longer lives and we produce less e-waste, but typically when we talk about "taking care" of those things we mean being gentle with them, keeping them repaired and in good working order and running the latest software updates.
We don't mean watering them or making sure they get a little sunlight. But that's exactly what this moss-covered keyboard would require and it pushes us to look at our gadgets a little differently.
Designer Robbie Tilton said, "I chose to create a computer keyboard made of wood and moss. I was passionate about creating this because I feel the aesthetic of modern technological objects are cold and lifeless. Surrounded with tech gadgets made of glass, metals, and plastics – I believe that as a society – we are constantly removing ourselves from nature and have drawn ourselves into a motif of objects that are visually very clean, but also visually bland and tactilely inept. What if our technology lived and breathed? If it required us to water it at night in order to allow it to bloom? If it were both visually and tactilely stimulating would user interactions change and would their relationship toward the object change?"
The moss keyboard isn't just nice to look at, but a reminder that our devices, other than the electronic components, don't have to be made out of plastic and metal and that natural materials can also be used. Like the wooden touch pad computer we covered recently or the several electricity-free iPhone speakers out there, using natural materials where possible can give our electronics a lower carbon footprint and their parts will be biodegradable or recyclable at the end of their lives.
Tilton decided to replicate an Apple wireless keyboard because there weren't that many parts. For the project he stripped apart an old one and refitted the electronic components into his new wooden case. You can read the full details of the design and assembly here.
Tilton said, "In the future I’d like to continue merging digital fabrication with natural materials to create pieces that are contradicting to peoples preconceived perceptions and that are visually beautiful, tactilely interesting, while retaining the functionality we expect from our modern world."