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#07. Ambiguous Standards of Electricity: Plugs & Outlets

There are fourteen different types of plugs and outlets used in the world, from Type A to N.


This variety stems from the period of the industrialisation of electricity, an era of imperialistic struggles of early modern standardisation as well as technical necessities such as voltage, frequency and grounding. 

The geographical standardisation of various plug types is related to social and cultural parameters as well as electrical ones. Thus, the distribution of widely used plugs, which overrides national boundaries as well as cardinal points of the earth, might illustrate the non-geographical relations between countries and provide an alternative parallax about the connections ----social and electrical alike-.

The national frequency (with the respective number of widely used countries) of their use is as follows:
Type C (137), Type F (74), Type A (55), Type G (51), Type B (47), Type D (39), Type E (38), Type I (20), Type M (15), Type K (9), Type L (9), Type J (6), Type N (2), Type H (1).


Type C (with the grounded Type F) is mainly used in continental Europe, Type G in England, Type A (with the grounded Type B) in the United States, Japan and China. Very curious information is that the type H is only used in Israel.

The crate for the Ambiguous Standards of Electricity: Plugs and Outlets will deal with the issues of direction and connection through electricity and consist of different plugs and outlets, as well as an electrified world map, which will show which standard is widely used in which country.

"Among the most stimulating projects spotted at Jerusalem Design Week 2019 is that of the ASI – Ambiguous Standards Institute, a research collective inspired by a Turkish governative agency that really existed in the 1960s, which had the task of comparing local standards for products, services and protocols with those of other countries to verify their adaptability."


"Differences are the result of industrialisation and the need for predominancy, as well as technical differences like voltage, grounding and frequency.

Interestingly, the distribution of the most popular types of plugs says a lot about the non geographical relations between countries. 

Ambiguous standards Institute created a new crate for their series, which together tell a story of the invisible networks of standards around the world. 
Stick the plug in the socket, and watch the map light up.

Where is east?"


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