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Electric Wallpaper Lights Up Design Fair

Friday, May 12, 2017

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Two entities in the interior design world joined forces for the Collective Design fair in New York, where they turned guests on to a new form of interactive wallpaper.

Flavor Paper and furniture brand UM Project, both of Brooklyn, “joined forces to develop an interactive wall covering product combining conductive wallpaper and functional devices. The low tech-high touch integration of 2-D and 3-D elements creates a novel and immersive experience,” according to UM’s website.

The display, with a background mix of floral and “millennial pink” intended for the wall, the electricity and the objects to become a unified system.

Francis Dzikowski/OTTO

The display, with a background mix of floral and “millennial pink” intended for the wall, the electricity and the objects to become a unified system.

Tiles on the wall display were screen-printed with lines of the conductive ink, linked by copper tabs and capped by touch-sensitive pads on one end and the interactive elements—like lights or speakers—on the other.

"What interests us in the collaboration is of course using simple technology, connective ink,” said UM Project founder Francois Chambard. "Connective ink is not a new thing, you may have seen it in other projects that people can buy and use. But often the devices or the objects which are actually triggered by connective ink feel disconnected."

The Collective Design duo aren’t the only ones making strides in conductive technology this week, however.

Students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have unveiled the “Electrick” project, which effectively turns any surface into a touch pad—also using conductive paint.

The Future Interfaces Group, a research lab that’s part of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU, have paired the conductive paint in the form of a spray paint with electrodes, which then compute touch points.

The CMU researchers, similarly to those at UM and Flavor Paper, also took to a wall by using the spray paint to create an integrated touch light switch.


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