CIID IDP 2015: Industry project for Space10 Future-Living Lab and IKEA
Arduino circuitry and coding
Heat Harvest is a device that can either stand alone or be integrated into household items, such as tables, to capture wasted heat from our everyday objects and turn it into free, green electricity that can be reused at home.
We don’t think much about the excess heat our homes produce, even though there is so much of it. Everything from our cookware and tea pots to computers and game consoles can get very hot to the touch, but we just let the heat dissipate into the air. This is a terrible waste, because the heat is actually energy that can be reused in our homes, bringing down our energy bills along with our impact on the planet.
Heat Harvest uses thermoelectricity to capture wasted heat and convert it into electricity. It exploits basic physics, putting to use the fact that temperature differences between two surfaces can generate electricity. Recent developments in nanotechnology have also made the conversion of heat to electricity more efficient than ever.
The brief that was given to us by the design studio Art Rebels was that of looking into the future and identifying how Fresh Living could be interpreted and represented there. We were to design our interaction around an object that could be considered as part of the IKEA catalog around year 2035.
We began with guerrilla-style research on the streets of Copenhagen. We talked with random people and asked them about what "Fresh Living" means to them and about their prediction on how the future would evolve in terms of people's needs and societal changes.
Next task was to analyze the feedback and settle on our key words for IKEA and Fresh Living to guide us through the ideation step. IKEA for us meant "Minimalistic", "Affordable", "Home". Fresh Living was inspired by our interviewees to contain "Energy", "Environment", and "New ways of thinking".
Among many other ideas that we came up with the one of harvesting heat on a small scale made the most sense to us. This was chosen to be the concept which we further evolved through our desk research and additional interviews. Desk research proven to us that technically such heat to energy conversion is possible and is being attempted and prototyped in various forms by many technology and design enthusiasts.
The final deliverable was set to be an experience prototype which would ignite the discussion around the concept of small-to-medium scale heat to electricity conversion and would also incorporate the design of IKEA products.