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Product Design
Published: 15 Jan 2014

Magnetic Potential: Update

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As previously highlighted in our Magnetic Potential report, designers are looking to magnetic materials to create adaptable products that combat the need for fixings and embrace a fuss-free, minimal aesthetic. 

The Magnon desk lamp by Russian designer Ilya Tkach features a wooden block embedded with LEDs and a hidden magnetic strip. The magnetic element allows for adaptability; the block can be easily manoeuvered to adjust the light source, or be detached altogether and used as a handheld torch or attached to another metal surface. 

Improving organisation through magnetism, German designer Grischa Erbe’s Bagshelf prototype consists of storage components made from a flexible, magnetic material that can be attached to a surface without the need for fixings or glue. In this instance, the components affix to a wall coated with a paint containing iron filings. Made from flexible, magnetic foil – the kind often found on the back of fridge magnets – the material can be folded into a range of versatile shapes. It can be used to make pockets, hooks, or even envelope-style pouches that can be removed from the wall and used separately.  

Embedding magnets into products can increase adaptability while still allowing for fuss-free, clean lines and minimal designs. For more examples of improving functionality through small adjustments, see Turn & Tilt: Adjustable Product.

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