It's called The Cloud, and it's an interactive lamp and speaker system, but it's also so much more.
Designed to look like an active thundercloud, the device uses motion sensors to detects when a person enters the room. As someone moves around it, The Cloud generates its lightning and thunder patterns. Featuring a speaker system which can also play streamed music from any Bluetooth device, users can change the color and brightness of the lights within its 3D printed shell, and as an added bonus, it includes modes to let it act as a nightlight and even react to music in real time.
Controlled by an Arduino board inside a 3D printed cradle, it's both a beautiful and practical design by by Richard Clarkson.
"Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of 'smartobjects,' which are gaining more and more traction in the design world," Clarkson says.
Clarkson experiments with products, lights, and furniture from his New York and New Zealand studios, and The Cloud is just one of his innovative products. His Richard Clarkson Studio takes on the problem of how to give traditional materials a new twist. He holds a Masters graduate from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a Bachelor of Design Innovation in Industrial Design from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Clarkson made The Cloud by enclosing the Arduino platform inside a case wrapped with hypoallergenic fiberfill, and the device is operated via a small wireless remote.
Clarkson has also created a sort of free speech protection kit with his protest, a utility belt which includes a group of 3D printed tools to let the active protester "hope for the best, yet be equipped for the worst."
Working alongside designer Damon Ahola, Clarkson says he modeled the kit after superhero gear and styled it according to the "street culture and the underground world of skateboarding." Each of the parts of what he calls the 'B. Super' system, a respirator mask, a lemon juice dispenser to take the edge off of a dose of pepper spray, a fake mustache kit, a larger mask to hide a protester's identity, a marker board to create on-the-spot signage, and a duct tape dispenser to take on any other emergency tasks, were packaged in "premium brown paper bags" which were color-coded at the bottom to identify the individual products.