As our phones get slimmer, sleeker and more stylish, there are a few brands working on docking stations that keep up. Like many companies, Leon’s Electric Trout was born out of a simple, everyday dissatisfaction. David Stychno (who is design director at a software company during traditional work hours) explains, “My girlfriend and I were always fighting over charging cables at night. It was a mess. One of us was always unplugging the other’s phone to get some juice. The cords would slip onto the floor. Everything was always somehow knotted.” This led to him wondering, “Why can’t docking stations be fun?”
Stychno designs charging docks for phones and watches with a bit more charm and warmth. From the coiled rope Duffy to the Power-Branch!, his products offer more character than traditional iterations or those that are purely functional.
“There are a ton of cold black and grey bent metal and wood docking stations that are just there to do their job efficiently and quietly,” he says. “Many stands are purely function-driven and are trying to blend into the design language of the devices. And obviously, that’s what a lot of people are looking for. But I figured if I wanted something that solved this problem of organizing and charging things in a more ‘colorful’ way, other people out there might be interested too.”
Not only are they visually inventive and functional, these products also aim to impact screen time—once a person’s phone (or watch) is docked, it should stay there.
“I just really get a kick out of making fun objects that solve problems,”Stychno continues. “I don’t have any formal industrial design training, so I’ve been having so much fun working with different forms and materials and exercising this new part of my design brain.”
Images courtesy of Leon’s Electric Trout