PacSci Perspectives


Electric Coffin: Where The Scientific Process Becomes An Art Form

by | Mar 11, 2018

Electric Coffin's Future Machine

By the name, you probably wouldn’t guess that Electric Coffin is a multi-disciplinary studio based in Seattle. This studio is pushing the boundaries of innovation by using art as a filter to engage, excite, and craft inspired experiences. Their studio is based on the school of thought, where unconventional collaboration and non-linear thinking gives rise to new creations and thought processes.

“We [Electric Coffin] use three pillars that drive our process of creating our pieces: design solutions, non-linear thinking, and collaboration,” said Duffy De Armas, co-founder of Electric Coffin.

With this approach in mind, Electric Coffin has produced several pieces including The Future Machine that is currently on display at the Science Center.

“The Future Machine represents the thinking of our studio as a vessel. We planted the machine and things grew out of it,” Duffy explains. “We wanted people to see things at a different level. It’s less about consumerism and more about community and society.”

Alongside other virtual and augmented reality experiences inside Building 4, this installment represents how we create our own realities. The future is both a certainty and an unknown territory, occupying much of humanity’s thought and activity. How will it unfold? Who controls it? When will it get here? Creative art and design studio Electric Coffin is building an apparatus that aims to usher our entry into the future and illuminate the way forward. This Future Machine, a merger of old and new, familiar and alien, utilitarian and vestigial, heralds the role of creativity and collaborations in determining the shape of our future.

“Reality is what you make it; it’s about asking ‘why not?’ Creating your own reality is at your fingertips.”

Another major project of Electric Coffin is their work on the Seattle based restaurant Joule. When speaking with Duffy, he explains that the interior concept really took shape from the name Joule. It started with the play-on-words with a jewel and infused the elements of the scientific definition as a unit of energy. Throughout the restaurant’s wallpaper is an original, handmade image of all the components that make up the restaurant formatted as a unit of energy.

Pacific Science Center was excited to team up with Electric Coffin not only because of their thought-provoking installments, but because of their approach to problem solving. Each project that Electric Coffin works on they tackle it using the scientific method and embrace failure.

“An instance that we’ve failed has become a solution for other things. To us, failure is when you quit trying; you decide to not get back up when you have been knocked down. We’re going to make mistakes, and what’s important is that we utilize the learning experience to move forward. A lot of our processes have come from failures; it’s the byproduct of experimentation,” Duffy explains.

At Pacific Science Center, we aim to model science as a boundless and timeless process of inquiry, discovery, and problem solving. We also inspire people to ask questions, develop hypotheses, conduct experiments and evaluate evidence in all aspects of their lives. Most importantly, we demonstrate that failure is a key ingredient of progress.

During your next visit to the Science Center, as you peer into the Future Machine, engage with the installment through the augmented reality component. Peer into the Machine and see all the compounds that make it whole and ask yourself, what does it mean to you?


The Future Machine by Electric Coffin is part of Pacific Science Center's What is Reality experiences. Included with general admission and free for Members, What is Reality pushes guests to explore their understanding of their reality and the reality of others through hands-on activities, demonstrations and virtual and augmented reality experiences. To learn more about What is Reality visit