Interaction Design Institute Ivrea @ Belmer Negrillo  see personal portfolio at  


   Professors :: Reed Kram, Clemens Weisshaar, Massimo Banzi >>            



















Concept Description
Candles are really fascinating and simple objects, with more than 5000 years of tradition, with a lot of historical meanings. They are associated with a lot of different functions that are specified by the color, the scent, the size, the place and the context. Candles can be magical, ritual, related with religion or not, sensual, romantic or only beautiful. Can even be just a helpful light in a Blackout. Even with all this different usages, there are few variations on the way they work, and everybody knows how to light one.

The candle as a device for control has interesting properties, too. Firstly, as said before, you don’t need to teach one how to use it. It is simple and already rooted in almost all cultures. Secondly, it has a special slow flame catching behavior that acts as a switch. When the candle is lighted, it takes a while until the wick burns in maximum strength. The same happens when you “turn off” the switch, by blowing it, until the smoke stops rising and the wick gets extinguish. Another important property is the perishing nature of the material (the wax or the oil). This fire consumption gives time and life cycle perception.

The intention here is not to create a new trendy candle, but a device that can be placed in a house and looks like a common candle, and you use as a common candle, but it has more functions associated than a common candle. But, then, to be a product, the candle-device should be presented in a lot of diverse options in way to satisfy the different personal styles, which becomes quite unreasonable for a product intended to looks like really simple and not be expensive. Then, why not instead of determine the possible candles for the user, let this choice free and do a candle holder that keep tracking the same switch property of the act of light a wick?

The Candle Dimmer is a proposal for a domestic product that controls the brightness of lamps in harmony with the states of a candle.
It consists by a candle holder and a wall dimmer. An electrical plug of a lamp must be attached to the dimmer and then it to a wall socket (see image below). The user adjust the minimal brightness of the lamp in the dimmed state by rotating the dial in the dimmer. You can have as many additional wall dimmers as you want for use with the same candle holder. Then, you just put a candle in the candleholder and light it. As the wick becomes brighter, the lamps match this mood and dim. You blow the candle, everything becomes dark. See the Interactive Behavior page for the complete map of interactions.




Interactive Behavior
Click here to see the complete map of interactions of Candle Dimmer. How I turn the lights on again?

Background Analysis
Click here to see the inicial research done, previous shape studies and other cardboard prototypes.

Click here to see the conceptual development process and the project status at an intermediate stage.



Interaction Design Institute Ivrea @ Belmer Negrillo  see personal portfolio at