This Mischievous Key Rack Will Annoy You Into Being a Better Person
Do you take the car or ride your bike?
It’s a small, everyday decision. But in some sense, it’s a perfect distillation of a much greater struggle. The bike stands in for personal fitness and social responsibility. The car is the avatar of convenience.
Keymoment is a clever concept that forces you to acknowledge those competing forces. The wall-mounted keyholder has two hooks, one for your bike key, one for your car key. If you grab the bike key, you’re out the door and on your way. If you grab the car key, the machine drops the bike key on the floor, forcing you to stoop down and pick it up. At that point, you have both keys in your hand–effectively giving you a second chance to weigh your options.
The device was created by Matthias Laschke, a PhD student at Folkwang University of the Arts, in Germany, and Marc Hassenzahl, his advisor, as part of a collection called Pleasurable Troublemakers. Each project in the series is based around some small annoyance, nudging us to change our behavior for the better. The Never Hungry Caterpillar, for example, is a power strip that battles vampire draw. By squirming around when your devices are powered off but still silently sucking up electricity, it’s a little visual reminder that unplugging is preferable for conserving energy.
Where designers are so often focused on efficiency and ease, Laschke and Hassenzahl are interested in friction. Through its elegantly engineered inconvenience, Keymoment introduces a new decision point in the days of weak-willed commuters. “We thought that picking up the key from the floor is literally like picking up and revising your options,” Laschke says. “With both keys in your hands, you have to choose, you have to do something. This choice is deliberately created by disturbing a routine. It creates a moment of choice after a routine choice has already been made. It’s a bit as if turning back time.”
Using friction to change behavior isn’t necessarily a new idea. Clocky, an alarm clock stocked by the MoMA Design Store, jumps off your nightstand so you have to physically get out of bed to shut it off in the morning.