Any fluorescent bulb held near this simple modern side table design by Florian Dussopt will ‘miraculously’ turn on without being plugged into a power source. The table activates the bulbs with an embedded circuit that affects the mercury gas inside them, making them glow. How does it work? Oh, just a little electromagnetic magic.

The electronic circuit in the table turns a low current into an electromagnetic field, creating an invisible field of energy that users can interact with by holding fluorescent bulbs above its surface. Of course, you don’t want to bring any electronics anywhere near it unless you want them to stop working.

The table appears to be a tribute to Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower, which attempted a similar feat on a much larger scale. Tesla hoped to use the same sort of electromagnetic field to transmit wireless electricity, but was never successful.

More from the designer

“EM (ElectroMagnetic) table is an experimental object able to produce a localized electromagnetic field when switched on. This field lights up fluorescent tubes within a short range without any physical contact. The EM table allows the user to interact with an energy that is otherwise invisible. An electronic circuit is embedded in the table and turns a low current into an electromagnetic field, acting directly on the gas within the fluorescent tube.
It is advised that electronic devices should be kept away when the table is switched on. This research aims at exploring less known aspect of energies, electromagnetic possibilities and new interactions.”

About Florian Dussopt

“Founder of FDDS, a London based experiential design studio creating engaging experiences for retail and brands. The studio specialises in bridging physical and digital to tell meaningful stories for many prestigious clients like Chivas Regal, Bombay Sapphire, Virgin Atlantic, Samsung, Roca, Nike… Also pushing personal research through commissioned and self-initiated artworks.”