All remote controls have the same basic design, which hasn’t changed much since they were first introduced. The most innovative remote we’ve seen in some time is Roku’s new headphone remote. But for this design, the EPFL+ECAL Lab collaborated with the Kudelski Group to challenge four major design schools to rethink the remote control.
Sixty years after its creation under the name, “Lazy Bones,” the remote control is still perceived as a collection of buttons on a block of plastic. It hasn’t acquired the status of an object, nor does it carry cultural, emotional or social value. However, it occupies a central place in our living room. What’s more, it constitutes a vital link between our real bodies and the digital world, which now includes television.
Students from the Royal College of Art in London, ENSCI-Les Ateliers de Paris, Parsons The New School for Design in New York, and the ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne designed prototypes for ‘Lazy Bytes’.
The project aims to renew our relationship with the digital world and the designs range from a joystick-type device to a magnetic stone and wooden controller. Click through to see a selection of the remote controls: