HOTSPOT

AGENCY
GSIGN Studio, 2010

POSITION
Self employed

MY ROLE
- Creative concept
- Design & Engineering

- Prototyping

DESCRIPTION
Hotspot feels like a brick wall glowing with the heat from the sun after a long summer’s day. This radiator and comfortable back rest is made of stone concrete. It will efficiently warm people and their environment using infrared rays, which is reminiscent of the sun. The comfortable heat will help the user relax and simultaneously ensure a healthy indoor climate. The smooth finish on the concrete gives the radiator its satin surface and the comfortable pillows will turn the Hotspot into a piece of furniture that is a full component of any interior. The Hotspot will draw people closer and bring them together.

STATUS
Concept, Prototype

FEEL THE HEAT

The concept of Hotspot rests on two pillars: functional and conceptual. The first one is a better and more sustainable way of heating the environment. Conventional radiators, mostly made out of steel, work with convection heating. This way of heating is really inefficient, because it only heats up the air. Warm air rises, cold air goes down and therefore the air circulates. If you open a window, all the heat is easily lost. A more sustainable way of heating is using stone. When stone heats up it admits infrared radiation which is similar to the energy of the sun. It will give a more pleasant warmth and heats up the environment and not the air. Concrete was chosen, because it's easy to cast and can be mixed with natural stones like marble or granite to maximize the heating capacity. 
The second pillar is conceptual and once again about bringing people together. The radiator (just like the clock in the Tea-Time project) is a really anonymous part of the interior with no 'emotional' connection to the user. The Hotspot brings back the radiator as a functional, but full component of the interior. It provides a completely new interaction with the user and makes us more aware of the energy we actually use.  Without the pillows Hotspot is just a clean sophisticated object in our living room. By adding the pillows and a stool, the radiator changes into a Hotspot where you can just relax, read a book or warm yourself on a cold winter day. 

STANDALONE HOTSPOT

Hotspot can be used at home (as standalone product) or in large public spaces. 

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MAKING THE HOTSPOT

A large part of the design process of the Hotspot was making a working prototype. It was quite a challenge, but I did it myself. This proto-process consists of making a vacuum formed mold. The mold had to be super smooth to gain the satin touch feel of the concrete. Besides the mold, there was designing the electrical heating circuit and hanging system which had to be angled. The next step was positioning this frame inside the mold and casting the concrete mixed with natural stone leftovers. Then I had to grind the back of the hotspot which made our common workspace look like Pompeii. Finally I had to attach the metal sheet to the back of the radiator. This way the magnets in the cushions could 'connect' to the back of the Hotspot. 

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