Sunshine on the move
When artist Olafur Eliasson talks about his Little Sun project, based on a portable, solar-powered lamp, he likes to put it this way: “Energy is like food. It’s often a good thing not to depend on a centralized system, but rather to achieve a degree of self-sufficiency, by growing your own vegetables or recharging your own lamp.” This was the thinking behind the flower-shaped lamp he designed with engineer Frederik Ottesen. Their idea was to reach out to the 1.1 billion people living without access to electricity: to provide light for mothers cooking the evening meal, fruitsellers trading in the evening, or schoolkids who damage their lungs by reading by oil lamp. In short, to bring light and life to isolated communities. Recently, Little Sun was joined by a solar charger (Little Sun Charge). The philosophy is the same: selling at locally affordable prices in places without electricity and at higher prices in more economically privileged countries. The project is driven by a whole team of young developers, seeking out partners and phone companies, with the aim of reconciling a world that’s moving too fast with another that’s missing out on the benefits of modern life. The Little Sun embodies a relaxed, simple humanism, with a message that progress can come at its own pace and at no cost to anyone. And that it’s possible to grow your food and eat it with a sunny satisfaction, free from bitterness. Alternative solutions for a taste of the future.