I’ve been sleeping in the neon glow of my router for so long I’ve forgotten what real darkness looks like. I can deal, but those little lights really annoy some people. It doesn’t help that many tech companies fit their devices with LEDs that could double as the headlights on your car. Those little boxes are often not attractive, either. I don’t think I’ve ever fit one into an aesthetically pleasing place in my house. It’s always askew, tethered to the wall with its cable umbilical cord.
Ferdinand Povel and Haiko Meyer fixed this by secreting a wireless router inside a porcelain vase. Designed for the Rosenthal company, they call it PorceLAN. The router comes in two parts. The router proper sits near the base while the vase portion holds flowers (and water!) on top. The cords and assorted gadgetry remain hidden from view. The makers say of the vase:
Routers. We all know them. We all use them. But let’s be serious: we all are not very proud of them and so we try to hide these dusty plastic things in the darkest corner of our flat. To banish them from our lovingly furnished homes once and for all, we designed a vase for Rosenthal – Germany’s oldest manufacturer of quality porcelain – which doubles up as a router: PORCELAN.
The vase consists of two separate pieces that fit together seamlessly. While the upper, removable part is for flowers, the one below contains all the technology, hidden from view. No plastic, no flashing lights. So PorceLAN is not just a flower vase, it’s probably the most stylish way to get online at home.
It’s pitched as “the world’s first online vase,” which is a little unfortunate because it calls to mind the tacky excesses of mid-90s Internet hype. I think, however, that there is a desire for this kind of product and a dearth of options for people who want such a thing. I did a quick search for “sculptural wireless router” and didn’t turn up much at all. This idea could be wound out into other designs and, honestly, why hasn’t it yet!? I think we’re in this gawky adolescent stage with how we relate to tech. It’s still an Other, which means that we’re thinking within confines that don’t need to be there. A router doesn’t have to be an ugly plastic box. The Internet brings many cool things into our homes, it deserves to be treated with a little more love.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
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