A simple dimmer switch system made with conductive thread

In a project called Craft-Techmen, designer Kodai Shimizu developed a new simple dimmer switch system made with conductive thread, which are integrated in repairable home appliances.

Household appliances tend to become increasingly complicated, and therefore more difficult to repair. When reparation costs exceed the costs of buying something new, old appliances are generally discarded.

In response to the trend, Shimizu developed a simple toggle switch, consisting of conductive threads. By rotating a certain part, the conductive threads are adjusted to different levels of contact, causing voltage variation. The system can be adapted to different functions by reprogramming the microcomputer, for instance, changing volume on a speaker, temperature for a hairdryer, or channels on a radio.

The simplicity of the system, as well as the design of the wooden products Shimizu developed, makes it easy for it to be disassembled and repaired when broken.

Shimizu comments, “The Craft-Techmen project suggests new artifacts for our daily lives in an effort to question the materials and electronic technologies surrounding us, while providing intangible values to both maker and user alike.”

Photos: Kodai Shimizu