Kebei Li made three force sensitive lamps for people to adopt for a week. Pressure applied on the top panel will be read and mapped into corresponding amount of light. The lamps are creaturely responsive, with satisfying dimming animation.

As part of his undergraduate thesis, the lamps are intended to study people’s adaptability to ambiguous and flawed systems and objects. It is important to notice that, many existing designs and systems are not optimized for human use. They did not disappear for that reason, quite on the contrary, many happened to disseminate widely, and had gained cultural connotation over time.

Take the letter arrangement on contemporary keyboard as example, the same arrangement on 19 century mechanical typewriters that designed to slow down typing, in order to prevent keys colliding with each other. Obviously not optimized for efficiency and convenience, however, it is one of the best example of human adaptation of man-made system. We are so familiar with the QWER keyboard that the interaction is effortless and instinctive for most people. More importantly, keyboards’ ubiquity and thorough cultural penetration formed a symbolism that is understandable to us without physical existence.

As emotional and irrational human beings instead of machines for speed and perfection, it is very reasonable for us to prefer systems that are ‘just like us’. We have too many systems, products, architectures designed to help us to act like efficient machines, but not many of them are able to leave an impression on our emotion.

The charm of those ambiguous and flawed system is to some extend the charm of humanity. They made us less than a machine but also more than a machine.