Designer Ross Lovegrove believes that “intelligent products reflect the value we place on our civilisation. They must use resources wisely and celebrate the full potential of our emerging scientific and technological age.” Working in his studio in London, Lovegrove takes inspiration from nature to create everyday items, including his SUPERNATURAL chair that weighs 2.5 kilos (approximately 5.5 pounds).
While many of Lovegrove’s products may not be seen in the mainstream market, one of his designs–A Solar Tree–can be seen on the streets of several European cities. Solar trees are solar-powered streetlamps that are designed to look like a part of nature more than an artificial light source. Each Solar Tree has 10 “branches,” which are actually solar panels that collect sunlight during the day and then use that energy to provide light during the night. The tree’s “trunk” is green to add to the connection with nature.
The lamps were first installed in Vienna in October 2007 in collaboration with the Museum of Applied Arts there. Since then, Lovegrove’s trees have been placed on the Piazza della Scala in Milan and the Champs Elysees in Paris.
Lovegrove is working on a second generation of the Solar Tree, which will feature solar panels that follow the sun to increase energy capture.