Fuse by Dan Salisbury, James May and Giles Sparrow. Silver Award, Professionals and Enthusiasts
Dan Salisbury has reworked and redesigned the domestic fuse box together with James May and Giles Sparrow, who all work together at DCA Design in Warwick, Great Britain. Before being appointed industrial designer at DCA Design in 2012, Salisbury took a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University.
We put three questions to Dan Salisbury concerning their “Fuse” project for which they were presented with the Silver Award in the Professionals and Enthusiasts category.
1. What problem does your project offer a solution for and how does it work?
Fuse has been designed to give you unparalleled control of your electrical supply. Consumer units, more commonly referred to as fuse boxes, are the access point for power entering a building and have been a mainstay in the home for decades. However, they have seldom given any consideration for the people actually living there. Fuse utilises this point of entry to re-think the consumer unit, allowing it to help you in the event of power failure and also manage your energy consumption. The seamless integration of hardware and software sends the necessary information to your phone, putting control into your hands.
2. How did your design process unfold; what steps did you take, what were the challenges?
The consumer unit is such an everyday object, it’s something almost everyone has come into contact with. This shared experience was the driving force for the project as a wealth of insight was so easily accessible through colleagues, friends, partners and personal experience. The main challenge was ensuring the design features we wanted to implement adhered to the standards which govern the installation of consumer units. After all, an idea is nothing if you can’t make it work.
3. What are your criteria for “good” design, and what role do you think design will play in the future?
It’s an obvious answer, but I always look to Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles of Good Design. They embody so much of what I believe as a designer; products should be driven by user-need and have a purpose, they should exist in their simplest and most intuitive form, and they should have as little impact on the planet as possible.
The latter is a point which I feel will become ever more prominent in the future, particularly as resources dwindle and population grows. Design will be key in helping the world create solutions, instead of consuming it.