If you knew exactly how much electricity your home consumed, would you be more mindful of your carbon footprint and adjust your habits to lower consumption?

Textile designer Cecil Marcq hopes so in her Inconspicuous Matter project – an electro-reactive wallpaper that visualizes electrical energy usage.

An effort to materialize the immaterial, the project holds promise for the future of reactive materials in ambient displays. Meanwhile, creating palpable, visceral awareness of an intangible resource combats the inherent human difficulty in quantifying the abstract, helping us see electricity as a raw resource rather than a remote concept.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.