I tried reimagining the concept of wall switches in an artistic way.

This led me to experiment with what I call 'Ribbon Switches'. These were switches designed like Ribbons, running across the length of a room. The concept was to incorporate the function of wall switches into the unique Interior Design of a room.

The Concept

My first experiment was using a strip of cloth with conductive string stitched along it's length. I stuck this cloth along the wall in my room. In my first demonstration, I used a contact-based mechanism to trigger Lights in the room.

This involved the User's skin closing a circuit to trigger the Light and limited the permissible length of the strip.

In order to make the Ribbon Switch independent of the configuration of the room, the physical constraints of length of the ribbon had to be eliminated.

I decided to make the Ribbon Switch a collection of modular sections that independently detected touch and sent signals to the Light.

First, I connected the Lights through a Relay Board with a wireless transciever.

Then I created each modular part of the Ribbon Switch as an independent capacitive touch sensitive strip that wirelessly sent a signal to the Relay Board on detecting touch.

So tapping on any part of the Ribbon would trigger a Light or arrangement of Lights to toggle. I built some quick-use capabilities into it as well. For example swiping up-to-down switched off all the Lights and swwiping down-to-up switched them on.

I worked on the aesthetics of the Ribbon Switch, so that it could either merge into or complement the existing design of the Room. The Ribbon Switch was initially prototyped as a Satin Ribbon applied over a wall, but could also be designed as embossing or extrusion on furniture.

These switches could be used for functions other than light control as well. They could make use of the idea of designing UI elements into the interior of a space.

I demonstrated these concepts to some Interior Designers, who were fascinated by the creative freedom that the Ribbon Switches proposed. It was interesting to suggest an alternative approach to a concept as well accepted as wall switches.

This was an independent project I did with a friend during a summer break from College.

Gate-Path Ribbon Switch Prototype

Capacitive Ribbon Switch Prototype

Get In Touch

  • Pune (MH), India