a thesis project: Rethinking the extension cord

Hello fellow Core77 people,

first of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Antti Eskeli, a finnish soon-to-be-designer i hope. This spring I’m about to graduate from my bachelor industrial design program from Lahti Institute of Design.I’ve always had a huge interest towards vehicle design, but slowly I’ve moved my interest towards the world of products. I’ve found the everyday products the most interesting and this is one of the many reasons I chose the subject of extending electricity in indoor spaces as my thesis project.

I would love if You have a couple minutes to spare answering few questions I’m about to present. Before that I would like to tell why and how I’m going to start working with this project. A mass product as an extension cord should be more thought through and it should serve the consumer better. Ofcourse the price is low, but so is the usability and the looks of it. I think every single one of Core’s followers have had some kind of problems with these products. I know this is a very common subject amongst designers. The internet is full of nice concepts but most of them sadly are impossible to produce on todays standards. This is one of my main focus points. How to make the new product concept produceable with todays techniques and materials but also how to keep the final price reasonable for the customer.

So where am I at the moment with this project? Now I’m working on with my researching and I’ve started the concept work. I’ve pretty much done my homework with the material and technical research considering the electricity standards we have in Europe. I’m planning to work with the C and F standards which are used in Europe and Asia. I think grounding the product is essential for the safeness of it. And these grounding standards are bringing a whole lot to the concept. This is not an easy task to make the extension cord appealing, but I like challenges.

The main key features for the concept are:

Usability. How to make the product easy, pleasent and fun to use for the end-user ?

Visual aspect. How to make it desirable ? The extension cords are seen as a product that usually are hidden. I want to turn this idea around and make it as seen as a product which is left exposed. The looks of it should also please a broad crowd.

Life cycle. Materials and producing methods. What are the materials and methods to make the product appealing for the user but at the same time environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Additional value. Consumers are more aware of consumption and environment. How to make the product guide the user ?

The reason I wanted to choose Core77 discussion board as one of the research sources is that I’ve followed this community for a good 4 years now and this has been a huge source of inspiration for me. Your knowledge is better than gold for me right now and I hope you can share Your experiences and expertise and answer these few questions about the subject.

Here are the questions i would like to ask:

Extension cords are a well known mass products. What is the first thing that pops into Your mind when thinking about the products that are on the market right now ?

In which direction would You like the extension cords to go ?

What do You think about the modularity considering these products ?

If visually appealing would You consider having extension cord for example on your coffee table ? Or maybe permanently attached on your studios / offices wall ?

The cords length is known to be a problem. Is the longer the better or should the cord be adjustable somehow ?

How many sockets do You find necessary ? 4, 8 or 12 for example ?

Do You think it’s necessary to have some kind of guidance from the product ? For example a simple guidance (led light) if electricity is used even though the user product is supposed to be shut off.


At this stage I’m keeping the projects visual side private, but after our schools deadline I hope to make the project public also for You.

Have a great day,