Ewan Alston
︎ / ︎


Frank Objects



This project aims to bring transparency to so-called 'smart’ objects. It is a theoretical product, a smart speaker (like Google Home or Amazon Echo), that is completely frank about its environmental and social impact.

Firstly, it has been designed to be disassembled easily and intuitively, without tools and with clear instructions embedded on the device. This encourages repair, upgrade and recycling – all essential for longevity and sustainability. Secondly, it is transparent in what it is actually doing for us: it is honest about giving biased advice or targeted advertising, and blurts out a warning when it is listening in on our conversations.

It critically highlights the darker side of our current 'black box' gadgets, while offering a glimpse of a more responsible product.