The physical switch to turn off your emails

Ever felt like you're drowning in emails? Brendan Dawes presents a way to turn them off.

For many of us email is an oppressive influx that we need to shut out from time to time. Designer and artist Brendan Dawes has taken a very literal approach to this problem, and created an 'email switch'. Placed next to a normal light switch, it enables you to turn off the flow of email to your entire network.

"Why can't we turn email off and on as easy as other appliances in our house?" Dawes asks. "By changing the context of how we turn email off and on we might better manage our relationship to it, easily able to switch off whenever we feel like it."

It was created as part of a commission from email marketing service MailChimp, who asked Dawes to explore our interactions with email through physical objects.

Dawes came up with six product concepts in total. Another is 'Lucy', a light that will blink or glow in the colour you email to it. The desired colour can be specified via RGB value, of course.

A third seeks to make it easier for you to rediscover the good memories that are contained within your inbox, much like you would when poking around in a box of old stuff. Activating 'Lana' causes an old message to land in your inbox, much like you might discover a letter when disturbing a pile of papers.

Videos of all the gadgets in the collection can be found here.


Tanya Combrinck is digital editor on net magazine.