We made vinyl albums obsolete, yet spinning records is back, and we fully re-embraced skinny jeans only to be told flares are back. So it was only a matter of time until someone took email for a spin in the time machine. Though, in this case, we’re not sure if it’s headed toward the future or the past.
Six Monkeys, a project by designer and artist Brendan Dawes and commissioned by Mailchimp, uses a series of objects to turn email into something tangible again. As it is now, we sort of dread that little ping, but email was once a form of communication we all looked forward to reading (You’ve Got Mail, anyone?). With six designs, Dawes is hoping to reframe the negative connotations we have with email and make it fun again.
Using everyday objects to physically put email into our surroundings, Dawes is hoping to help us manage our relationship with our inbox. Kinda like he’s doing with Nim, a light switch that blocks email notifications until you’re ready to see them, which is something we absolutely want in our houses (please make this one a real thing, Brendan!).
Meanwhile, Sarah kicks it old school while calmly alerting you to a new email by slowly raising and lowering a card-like piece of paper.
We’re kind of keen on Oliver, too. This device uses lights to show you how many unread emails are pilling up in your inbox. Purple indicates that elusive zero inbox while full on red means you’re in deep email sh*t come Monday morning.
Our favorite email-turned-art form is Ham, and not just because its name is making us hungry. Ham is a box where you store your most cherished emails. With a twist of a key, you can have one printed receipt-style on a piece of paper, which you can then put in your pocket for those days when you really need an affirmation that you’re good enough, you’re smart enough and, gosh darn it… someone at one point in your life sent you an email as evidence of it.