All-in-one Power Hub
It all started with a road trip through Bolivia in a 40-years-old Fiat 600. During one of the many needed repairs, out attention was drawn to the power strip the mechanic was using to plug his tools in. It was a simple wooden case, beautiful, but it looked dangerous. Back in Italy we decided to make a beautiful, nature inspired piece of design ourselves. Thinking back to that repair shop in Bolivia however, we not only wanted to make it functional and well designed, but perfectly safe as well.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
To be functional, power hubs must be placed in sight, but the current power strips are created solely for functionality. With Woodie we desired to create a functional design object. To best compliment any interior design Woodie has versions with different high quality natural elements, such as wood, marble and cement. To also provide the best functional experience, all different charging methods were implemented in one device, which is 100% unique in the current market.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The operation of Woodie adheres to standard usage for clarity and ease of use, but the multiple possibilities increase its functionality. Charging with a plug is done traditionally, but allows plugs from over 150 countries to increase usability (for instance at hotels). The wireless charging aspect works by placing a mobile phone on top of the Woodie logo, without the need of cables. The USB ports also operate in the traditional way.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in August 2014 in Buenos Aires, then in February 2015 moved to Milano. Was exhibited in FuoriSalone del Mobile 2015 and had a special Event on the Darsena for its Launch in July 2015.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The design started with hand drawings then got to the precision of CAD and the help of 3D renders for the style. Ten prototypes for tests were realized using a laser sintering 3D printer. Electronics components were identified and tested with experts in the field, from simple copper plates to magnetic induction coils. The plastic is injected in moulds and assembled with its electronics. Each frame, crafted by artisans, is glued to the device.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Woodie is very compact compared to its functions: it has a square base of 135mm with a fillet radius of 27mm and height of 36mm. Its frames are made of Wood, Marble or Concrete and are 8mm thick and 30mm high. It has a truncated conical base of 6 mm which gives it lightness on its support. The power sockets are designed for over 150 types of plugs and the wireless coil operates on the Qi standard.
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An empirical approach was applied to achieve a better understanding of the desires of potential customers of Woodie. Data was gathered through interviews with hotel owners (customer segment) and consumers, at fairs, on the street and in our network. Additional A-B testing was also performed. This confirmed the preference for quality natural materials for design and helped shape the functions of Woodie. The result is a design created with and for people with an eye on design, meant for commerce.
Countries have different laws for the safety requirements of power hubs. The combination of the right materials and trustworthy suppliers to create the desired design and functionality, while ensuring safety worldwide was a big challenge. Some minor changes also had to be made to prepare Woodie for industrial production. For instance, a curved edge at the bottom was removed, as it added a large additional costs for production. The balance between design and these matters was the most difficult
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Franchesco Paolo Dolce and Marco Iurilli
Francesco Paolo Dolce & Marco Iurilli, 2015.