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'The new solar narrative is based on the fact that solar energy is embedded in our daily lives, using the power of design.'

Our earth constantly receives an abundance of solar energy. Until now, the conversation around solar energy has always remained very technical and economic. This technocratic perspective, based on efficiency and payback time, leaves no room for human and cultural values, limiting social acceptance and the full potential of solar energy.

 

Meanwhile, solar energy is becoming the cheapest source of energy.  Now is the time to make room for more engaged, meaningful and emotional relationships with solar energy. The power of beauty is able to do this. If we integrate energy generation into the way we build and design, solar energy will be abundant. In the future, we may start seeing a building as not fully functional if it does not generate its own energy.

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'Instead of looking down into the earth for oil and gas, let’s start looking up to the sky for our energy.'

Solar Futures

The book Solar Futures: How to design a Post-Fossil World with the Sun, aims to create a new vision and change the narrative. It illustrates what we need to know to make the transition from solar technology to solar design using aesthetic solutions.  

Solar design is a rapidly developing practice where designers, architects, physicists, engineers, sociologists, urban and city planners and many more disciplines have to collaborate. This book – which includes voices from various experts who represent these disciplines – aims to bring this community together. 

The book consists of three parts: The first part explains how, in the past, we designed with the sun, and provides a historical visual timeline of the development of solar power. The second part discusses the present: Where are we now, and what is solar design? It shows different examples of solar design in architecture, fashion, mobility and product design. Then we reach the future. This third part questions what we need to do to ensure solar energy does not become the asbestos of the 21st century.

Interested? Order a copy on the link below.

The Solar Biennial

The first edition of The Solar Biennial, an initiative of solar designers Marjan van Aubel and Pauline van Dongen, took place from September 8 to October 2022 in both Rotterdam and Eindhoven. It counterbalanced the prevailing technological and economic viewpoints on solar energy.

For seven weeks, the biennial focused on the human angle: a solar-powered world that went beyond scientific research and uniform solar panels. The Solar Biennial was and ís part of The Solar Movement dedicated to shifting the perspective on solar energy.
 

'With The Solar Biennial, we show that the power of design is needed to meaningfully integrate solar into our environment. We show a world where our sun is much more and more explicitly central.'

Pauline van Dongen and Marjan van Aubel 

Take a Look

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The Solar Movement

We believe solar is the most natural and humane source of energy. It’s the answer to the smaller question (How to power our life?) and the Big one (How to live it?). As designers, those are the exact questions we pore over every day. How to rhyme the purely practical with societal issues. How to make things and make them meaningful.

We believe that solutions should not only come from policymakers, scientists, and industry experts but from everyone. Solar Designer Marjan van Aubel and Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen launched the Solar Movement to cultivate an international network of individuals dedicated to shaping a solar-powered future together. 

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