Social networking as we know it is approaching its teenage years and, like a human teenager, the current state of this Digital Age phenomenon looks a lot like puberty – awkward, emotional, and decadent.
Paul is a sarcastic piece made in response to the current popular trends in social and mobile technologies. It is a functional iPhone charger design object that explores modern technology's affect on human sexuality.
As the potential for the singularity, in which humans and robots become one, comes closer to reality, I wonder how we will begin to integrate. Will the first vanity technology integration into the natural body be the catalyst of life itself?
What/Who is Paul?
Whether you are looking for a contemporary design object for your home or a community charger to inspire creativity in the workplace, Paul is your man. This is the first smartphone charger that doubles as a fine art sculpture. Each is hand-produced and made of lightweight foam. He is life-size, standing 34 inches tall, and features a cord that can be pushed back into his bum for a clean look and easy transportation. Paul can be made for charging a variety of mobile devices including, but not limited to: iPhone, Android, and Galaxy Smartphones.
The first Paul was completed in January 2014 and he has been exhibited at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in California and was selected as a finalist in the DATA (Design Art and Technology Awards) competition in Pittsburgh, PA.
The idea for Paul originated in August of 2013 while working at North Dakota's Valley City State University as a visiting artist. For 9 months I have been testing ideas, surfaces, and materials to perfect this design object. After extensive testing and public feedback I am ready to move past the prototype phase and complete the first small production run of Pauls.
Each functional prototype currently takes (an absurd) 40 hours to complete, but with the proper equipment and molds I will be able to make the production process significantly much more efficient. With your help I will be able to cover the upfront equipment costs including a massive silicon mold and a plastic spray gun for the surface.
Backing this project at any level is a huge help to the end goal. Thanks!
For a donation of $30 or more you will be mailed my "Surprise Object" that will be produced when testing the processes and materials for the perfect final version of Paul. This small object might be functional, fun, or decorative. I am not sure what I will be making yet... but it will fun and funny just like Paul!
You will receive a Paul of your own for a pledge of $400 or more. This is the real deal. You will be mailed a full-size functional Paul Smartphone charger made possible by your donation. He will be made of lightweight foam with a durable white surface. If Paul had a face he would be smiling big in anticipation of arriving in your home.
I will be making all of the chargers by hand using a combination of silicon molds, expandable foam, and a plastic coating. I have already used these materials to develop the prototype, but with the funding I receive I will be able to purchase the equipment to make the chargers using a more efficient process.
August-September: Order sample materials and begin testing.
October-November: Following a successful run of small test objects I will begin to refine and finish the Paul model for new mold production. I will order all the necessary hardware, silicon, plastics, etc.
December-April: Production of Pauls for Kickstarter Backers.
May 2015 - Shipping the Pauls to their new homes.
Who are you and can you actually do this?
Hi, I'm Justin. Nice to Meet You.
I am an artist and designer currently living in beautiful Taos, New Mexico. I come from a background of functional art receiving my Bachelor of Fine Art from Alfred University where I focused on pottery and ceramics. I successfully completed my first Kickstarter project in 2011 called Meme The World which helped send over 100 ceramic mugs traveling around the globe as physical renditions of the Internet meme.
I have experience working with a huge range of materials and processes including concrete, clay, wood, resin, plaster, expandable foam, adhesives and much more. If you want some proof you can check out my art portfolio here! :)
Pretty much any device that has a 2 meter long charging cord available on the market is a device I can fit onto Paul. Below are some basic options, but please contact me if you have any specific device you want me to look into. Thanks!
All micro USB devices: Samsung Galaxy: S2 S3 i9100 i9300 S5830, Android, etc.
iPhone 5 5C 5S 4 4S
Risks and challenges
I have already successfully produced 2 Paul prototypes with an absurdly long process. If the project is successful I will producing the Pauls myself using a much more efficient and affordable manufacturing strategy. One challenge of the project will be learning to work with new materials and processes in order to complete the production run.
I have already used many different types of resins, foams, and molds and have received material consulting on the project. I am confident I will be able to learn this new process, as I have done many times in the past, but there are sometimes set-backs when learning a new skills that could delay the project.
Finding The Perfect Surface:
Currently the surface of Paul is a sanded plaster. Although beautiful, this takes a REALLY long time, and scratches easily. One of my goals of this project is to find a surface treatment that is durable and saves time, but retains the soft look and visual weight of the plaster finish.
I have received professional advice on surface options that include a sand blasted surface, matte paint, epoxy, or plastic. These options and more will be explored during the testing phase of the project.
Order Volume and Quality:
Because of the size of the object, quality, and personal values, the production process will be kept local. Although I have considered the possibility of needing a larger space and team based on the number of orders, the chance still exists that production will be delayed with a large initial order. This event is something I have proactively prepared for by waiting to design a custom gang-mold based on number of orders and considering potential for operation expansion into the retail value of Paul.
While testing materials and process I will complete a small run of a mystery object. I don't know what it will be yet, but I promise to try and make you laugh. This is a crucial part of the project and I would love to send something fun your way.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! Pre-order the Paul Smartphone charger for your home or office. Please check the list of compatible devices at the bottom of the page and specify when you pledge which type you will be charging. If Paul had a face he would smiling in anticipation of his new home.
ADOPT A PAUL OF YOUR OWN!
Pre-order the Paul Smartphone charger for your home or office. Please check the list of compatible devices at the bottom of the page and specify when you pledge which type you will be charging. If Paul had a face he would smiling in anticipation of his new home.
FINE ART PAUL SCULPTURE.
This is for a one-of-a-kind Paul smartphone charger sculpture created in solid high-quality polished plaster. You will be the only person on the planet to own this collectable contemporary art object. Charge up in style or just observe and think deep thoughts.