In Vienna, Austria form and function came together in designer Ross Lovegrove’s solar trees. Created in conjunction with Artemide and Sharp Solar, the artist aimed to have his piece provide a dialogue between complex natural forms and the stark sharpness of urban environments.
The trees were on display over a busy street for four weeks and were able to provide enough light during the night-time hours, even when the sun did not shine for four days in a row. The branches of the solar trees were adorned with 10 solar lamps, each one comprising of 36 solar cells. They also had rechargeable batteries and electronic systems. A sensor was used to measure the amount of light in the atmosphere and trigger the solar lamps to go on automatically at sunset and off at sunrise.
The solar trees combine function and fashion. Integrating solar powered LED light systems into more urban areas would cut down on the carbon emissions and also cut the electricity bills of local authorities.