Sixty years after its creation under the name “Lazy Bones,” the remote control remains relatively unchanged. Students from Parsons The New School for Design, working with Swiss organization EPFL+ECAL Lab (part of ECAL/University of art and design Lausanne), and the Kudelski Group, want to change this, and have worked together to create wholly new concepts of what a remote control can be.
The exhibit of their designs, Lazy Bytes, makes its United States debut this week at Parsons The New School for Design’s Sheila C. Johnson Design Center after a successful run in London earlier this year.
Four leading design schools from around the world – the Royal College of Art in London, ECAL in Lausanne, ENSCI – Les Ateliers in Paris, and Parsons The New School for Design ¬– worked together to reinvent the remote. Until now, visions of the evolution of remote controls have focused on performance; however, to truly make a device for the future, thinking about what a device means is as important as thinking about what a device does.
With 63 projects, 29 of which were selected for the exhibition, Lazy Bytes opens the field for reflection with its amazing ideas, such as Rolling Control, which is based on an old game, or Zap, the book with conductive ink that combines handwriting and digital control. Also presented here are concrete projects capable of changing our lives in the near future, for instance the small Free Hand that adheres to glass or a can to turn it into a remote control.