Written by Rachel Pick. Originally published on Motherboard.
“Welcome to a world of problems, solved.” This is the cultlike slogan of Object Solutions, a “fictional design” studio that provides hyper-specific solutions to everyday annoyances.
Headed by artist and designer Ernesto Morales, Object Solutions doesn’t actually mass-produce its inventions, but uses them to prove a satirical point about the design world’s constant reach to solve problems with objects—problems we could solve perfectly well on our own.
As Morales told Motherboard back in 2014, “I introduce a mediating technology to fill the gap between the user and the existing world, which in turn creates more gaps that are ready to be filled by a new Object Solution. By creating this ‘world of problems, solved,’ I mean to call attention to this tendency in product design: filling ever more gaps with ever more external tools.” One previous project was a moist towelette the size of a bath towel, because “life offers an onslaught of filth at every turn.”
Object Solutions has also developed a series of three products designed to optimize the sleep-and-wakefulness cycle. In honor of Motherboard’s “You’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” theme week, I’ve ranked them from most plausibly useful to most absurd.
First are the Morning Panic Pajamas, which deliver an electric shock to the wearer, increasing in strength until you have to strip them off in a frenzy and face the new day naked and pissed off. I’ve mostly conquered my addiction to the snooze button, but overindulgence did cause some minor fiascos in my younger days. I’ve often wished for the alarm clock that runs away from you, and electric pajamas might solve the problem just as well. They’d also probably sell well within certain fetish communities, but that’s beside the point.
Second: the Sleep Achievement Medal. An LED display worn on a lanyard around your neck, it displays the number of hours of sleep you got the previous night, making your wearable’s collected sleep data public. This way, friends and coworkers know exactly how useful or useless you’ll be to them that day, depending on whether you got a refreshing 9 hours or a scant 1.
This might preempt a great deal of whining, but a series of sleepless nights in a row might cause your boss to start asking questions. After all, the sleep medal doesn’t differentiate between a night spent at a warehouse rave and a night simply tossing and turning.
And then there’s the Runaway Blanket, designed to mimic a bedmate tugging the covers off of you when you’re sleeping alone, whether because your partner is away or because you’re presently single. But Christ, who would miss that?