Look down at your keyboard for a sec. What a cold, harsh field of letter and numbers you place your hands on each day. You may not give it much thought, but that keyboard is a symbol of your detachment from nature. Man, people used to put their hands on things like axe handles, bales of hay, ears of corn, and good old fashioned dirt—things of the earth. Now we sit in sterile office spaces and mash our fingertips onto plastic buttons all day. Well, that all ends here.
Robbie Tilton from MIT Media Lab has come up with a way for you to continue being productive, typing away on those plastic keys, but also to feel a little bit of Mother Earth with each stroke. Not only has he replaced the plastic surface of each key with a wooden panel, the final version of this keyboard will have real live growing moss on it. You’ll end having to shave the thing more than you do yourself!
We are about to have a bit of fun with this, but if you really want to delve into the construction of this thing, check out Tilton’s blog.
First, you’ll have to dismantle your keyboard. I know you’ve been fantasizing about doing this violently ever since that “R” key started sticking, but you’ll have to keep your rage at bay and do it every so gently… ripping out the keys one by one until you’ve just got a naked little platform.
Now you’re going to trace the shape of the empty top plate onto a sheet of super thin plywood and cut out each of these key veneers. Don’t mix up the letters! Oh wait. This could actually be a chance for you to optimize your key placement. Or at least confuse the hell out of yourself and send your spelling talents to hell.
Attach these wooden veneers to each key using a strong adhesive like super glue or alligator saliva. (Haven’t tried it? Go procure some)
Now we’re going to cover that top plate in moss. But what kind of moss should you use? Go into your local park and scrape around for a while. Once you’ve found moss with the texture you like, bring it home and smear it all over the top plate. Throw a little alligator saliva on there and spread it around—it’s also an amazing moss fertilizer.
Watch it grow! Type for a while, trim it a little bit, and watch it grow some more! Man, this reminds me of a product they used to sell in informercials to sad, lonely people. I’m almost positive it was the Slap Chop… yeah, it’s definitely Slap Chop.