Amron Experimental, based in New York, has created a line of accessories and functional items under the label Die Electric that plug into unused electricity sockets. Counter and wall space can be preserved with a twisted cord that doubles as a toothbrush holder, a hook that slides in to hang up a coat or hand towel, a shelf and even glass vases and terracotta pots that can beplugged in. Company founder Scott Amron, who’s a conceptual consultant and electrical engineer, came up with the idea as part of an artistic statement. But growing interest means they’ll soon be distributed through museum and design shops. “We’re working on the production of a few of them,” says Amron. “For us, it’s really been about testing the boundaries of product design and art, and throwing in the issue of the environment as well.” For Amron, the idea was to come up with“an interesting use of an outlet when it’s not being used”. “They got people talking. Here’s something – a source of power – that we were brought up to believe was dangerous, but is now providing a non-electrical function.” Amron plans to introduce more products in the same vein, saying his first batch is “the very first step, an exploration, an experiment”. “I was curious to see what I could get away with. It began as a commentary on our perception of electricity. I don’t think a lot of people consider electricity as something that’s generated from the burning of fossil fuels. They’re more concerned about their electricity bill rather than having an understanding of where it’s coming from.” Amron says a new way to look at conventional products is becoming an important part of the design world.