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Fridge magnet research update – ”Why the fridge?”

Improbable recently drew attention to the field of Fridge Magnet Research. For those who wish to further investigate the ethnographical aspects of fridge magnets, may we also recommend a study by Dr. Laurel Swan (previously at Brunel University, now a research fellow at the Royal College of Art, UK) and Alex Taylor of Microsoft Research Cambridge Lab, UK.

‘Notes on Fridge Surfaces’ (in: Proceedings CHI 2005) In which the researchers ask (and then give an answer to) the simple yet crucial question : “Why the fridge?”

“[…] one is compelled to ask, why the fridge? Yes, the fridge offers a relatively large surface available to all and, yes, its surfaces provide a space for the haphazard arrangement of multi-functioning and ever changing items, but still, why the fridge? There are bulletin boards, doors or even walls that can be equally expansive and allow for things to be affixed to them using thumbtacks or tape. Missing in these surfaces is, of course, a magnetic quality. It is this that allows fridge surfaces, with their handy counterparts, magnets, to be inordinately easy to interact with.”

BONUS [1] Neo Teng Yi (of the Mechatronics Engineering dept. at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia) and his experimental investigations into the possibilities of constructing perpetual motion (free energy) devices using fridge magnets. ‘Investigation on Free Energy Magnet Motors’

BONUS [2] : Are unsightly refrigerator magnets driving you crazy? Why not get a magnet-removing kitten from Seacliffe Siberians?

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