Ikea teams up with Olafur Eliasson to create solar gadget prototypes

Sammanlankad prototype from the Ikea and Little Sun collaboration is seen in this picture courtesy of Ikea. ― AFP pic
Sammanlankad prototype from the Ikea and Little Sun collaboration is seen in this picture courtesy of Ikea. ― AFP pic

STOCKHOLM, June 11 ― The Swedish furniture giant has unveiled a prototype collection of multifunction gadgets featuring small solar panels to provide light and power.

The Sammanlankad collection is a collaboration between Ikea and Little Sun, a social enterprise from Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson.

The project was founded based on the obvious but no less relevant observation that the lack of electricity penalises communities long-term. A solution to this problem has still not necessarily been found.

James Futcher, creative leader at Ikea of Sweden said, “Energy is vital in life today, but still many people have no grid at all or a broken grid. We want to find smart solutions for them as well as for people that have access but want to reduce their energy consumption to adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle.”

The Ikea collection will include gadgets that can store energy for use as charging docks or lights. They are currently in the prototype stage and are due to go on sale in 2021.



According to the Dezeen publication, the creations can be used as ceiling lights, table lamps and charging docks, and integrate solar energy stores about the size of a human hand. The creations store solar energy all day long, which can then be used in the evening to charge small electronic devices such as laptops or mobile phones. The designs take the form of metallic structures housing the dome-shaped energy stores.

Little Sun is a global project and social business founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, working to deliver solutions providing clean, reliable affordable light and power to communities without access to electric distribution networks.

Working mainly in Subsaharan Africa, Little Sun distributes products that harness solar energy and works with local entrepreneurs to create jobs and provide sustainable energy.

Olafur Eliasson is known for his Ice Watch installations, made from blocks of ice, which were shown in London, Paris and Copenhagen. Note that the “Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life” retrospective runs July 11, 2019, to January 5, 2020, at London’s Tate Modern museum. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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