French designer Florian Dussopt has developed an electromagnetic table that can light up fluorescent tubes within close range.
Electromagnets are devices that create a magnetic field with the application of electricity. Dussopt’s table houses an embedded circuit, which produces an electromagnetic field that affects the mercury gas within the lightbulbs – causing them to glow as if they were plugged in.
The experimental object aims to explore the lesser-known properties of electromagnetic energy, considering new possibilities for designer and user interactions.
Dussopt’s previous projects include Blow – an interaction installation that comprised a dark disc studded with light-emitting diode (LED) lights, which illuminate when the viewer blows on a pinwheel placed at the centre. The project was on display at this year’s London Design Festival.
Objects with unusual or interactive power sources create a playful, spontaneous experience for the viewer. Magnetic force can be used to add kinetic elements and create malleable surfaces. Similarly, experiments with other forms of energy – such as Disney’s Paper Batteries, which uses electrostatic energy – could inspire new products or power solutions. See Magnetic Potential for more.