The Element Space Heater
In their research study called Static!, the Swedish Interactive Institute has redesigned ordinary household objects using design and energy to communicate to the user a tacit experience of energy use. By involving the senses people are invited to reflect on their energy use and behavior. The "Element" is their version of a space heater. If your house is heated by direct electrically heating you might not be aware of the tremendous amount on energy consumed. Radiative heaters contain a heating element that reaches a high temperature. Usually packaged with a reflector inside a glass envelope, the inside of these heaters resemble a light bulb, emitting infrared radiation that travels through the air, heating you house. The "Element" uses traditional, incandescent light bulbs to produce the energy that would normally be produced by your heater. Emitting light as it heats, it becomes a focal point in the home. Open the window on a cold day and it needs to works harder to maintain the heat of the room; all the while glaring at you as it reaches its highest energy use.