Final Project – Mobile Distress


Mobile Distress is a machine for cosmetic fracture design. It imprints devices with semi-random fracture patterns – permanent visual histories – in a controlled and safe manner. This process introduces the aesthetics of distress and decay to consumer electronics, and in doing so resists narratives of progress and newness embodied in product design.


The base of the machine is a Pioneer B20Fu20-51FW 8″ Full Range Driver, driven by a SURE AA-AB009 Amp Board, whose coil controls a threaded rod with an attached dremel bit. These parts are housed in a custom, acrylic structure. The bit rests above the phone, which the user manually positions to produce the desired fracturing.