Lazy Bytes: Rethinking the Remote Control

The humble remote control sits in almost every living room, yet commands little status. This EPFL+ECAL Lab exhibition offers alternatives that renew our relationship to digital media.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


November 22, 2013 10:00 am - December 04, 2013 5:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



Sixty years after its creation under the name, “Lazy Bones,” the remote control is still perceived as a collection of buttons on a block of plastic. It hasn’t acquired much status even though it sits in almost every living room and constitutes a vital link between our bodies and the digital world. Could the remote control be elevated and innovated? Could it be button free, include a touch pad, or integrate with household items? Lazy Bytes is the result of this exploration.

As part of its ongoing effort to renew our relationship with the digital world, the EPFL+ECAL Lab collaborated with the Kudelski Group  to invite four major design schools to participate in Lazy Bytes: the Royal College of Art in London, ENSCI-Les Ateliers de Paris, Parsons The New School for Design in New York, and the ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, Switzerland.

The works in exhibit do not seek to replace current remote controls, but rather to offer alternatives that reduce the stress associated with user interface, simplify but not over simplify, and suggest interfaces that are optimal for multiple generations of users. Read more about the project in Wallpaper.


Nicolas Henchoz

Nicolas Henchoz founded the Lausanne-based EPFL+ECAL Lab in 2003 to explore the potential of emerging technologies as a unit of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL). Its mission is to foster innovation at the point where technology, design, and architecture overlap. Nicholas Henchoz’s teaching and research concerns include augmented reality, innovation management, and material science. swissnex showed previous exhibitions of the EPFL+ECAL Lab in the US , including Give Me More in 2009 and Sunny Memories in 2012.
Henchoz has been named among Bilan magazine’s “300 Most Influential People in Switzerland”. He has a material science engineering degree from EPFL, has worked as a professional journalist, news anchor, producer, and short film director, and functioned as advisor and head of communications for the President of EPFL. He also founded and directed ICAT, a branding, communication and identity management company.


 Yves Béhar

Yves Béhar is a design entrepreneur who believes that product, digital and brand design are cornerstones of any business. He is the founder of fuseproject, the San Francisco and New York based design and branding firm he established in 1999.
Yves is also Chief Creative Officer at Jawbone; where for the last 11 years his products, brand and communications work have helped the company become a leader in wearable and audio consumer electronics. Béhar is also the Creative Co-Founder of OUYA, an open-sourced gaming platform, and is Co-Founder of start-up AUGUST, a next generation home entry system. His other collaborations with renowned partners such as Herman Miller, GE, PayPal, SodaStream, Samsung, Issey Miyake, Prada and many others have received international acclaim. Béhar’s works are included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, and he is a frequent speaker on design, sustainability and business.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos