may evoke feelings of nostalgia, but most children of the ’70s traded in their tween bling for real gems long ago. Modern creators, however, are reviving the Me Decade concept with clever new color-changing products in categories ranging from home decor to clothing. This emerging sector of heat-sensitive consumer goods
makes it unlikely that anyone will grow bored with their aesthetic choices.
Fickle minds sometimes face commitment issues when choosing their homes’ color schemes. To help prevent palette regret, German artist Siren Elise Wilhelmsen
has designed a color-changing rug that reacts to seasonal temperatures. The wool Season Carpet
, which Wilhelmsen has dubbed a “soft thermometer,” is dyed with three heat-sensitive color pigments that shift in shade depending on the ambient temperature. The rug is still in the prototype stage, but the hues that Wilhelmsen currently has in mind are blue-to-mint and a purple-to-pink, each of which transforms along with the weather. While color changing shoes also exist
, we recommend leaving all footwear at the door.
A consumer landscape dictated by customization and instant gratification calls for a DIY-approach to Hypercolor
apparel. So, inspired by advancements in spatial augmented reality
, researchers from Japan Science and Technology Agency
, The University of Tokyo
, Keio University
, and MIT
developed the Shader Printer
. The device uses heat-sensitive technology to tint objects such as clothing, home goods, and even furniture, with bi-stable color-changing dyes. A special laser, which heats the surface coating to 120*F, is then used to draw designs on the object. Freezing the piece overnight erases the doodle and returns the object to a blank canvas-like state, rendering the artistic process relatively fool-proof.
Linger A Little Longer:
Not all technology applications created to mimic the intimacy of human contact
have romantic inclinations. UK-based designer Jay Watson
has created a table-and-bench pairing, called Linger A Little Longer
, that responds both to the radiant temperature of body heat and to that of a still-warm coffee mug. The dining room set is finished with thermochromatic
lacquer, meaning anything that emits heat on it will leave a light-toned, temporary impression on the surface: an imprint which Watson affectionately calls an "ephemeral watermark.” His prototype, which is painted black on solid European Oak, is also available in other colors and woods on request, and can be ready within 6-8 weeks.