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Sharing the Energy: Sammanlänkad by Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson, and Ikea

Sharing the Energy: Sammanlänkad by Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson, and Ikea

In this FestiveNESS pick, we celebrate the power of design to change habits and create important conversations. Sammanlänkad are attachable solar panels that provide—in a smart, everyday tool—renewable energy and the possibility of a sustainable lifestyle. The panels are designed by the social business Little Sun, launched by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, in collaboration with Ikea. They are planned to be released in 2021 in all Ikea markets.

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019

SAMMANLÄNKAD by Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with Ikea

More than one billion people worldwide, about every seventh person, have minimal or no access to electricity. An absence of energy, often in combination with a lack of clean water and reliable communication services, causes severe problems for communities and families. These challenging conditions lead to a drop in education levels because children cannot study after sunset. Furthermore, working hours are reduced to those available in daylight, and emergency medical care becomes unsafe to provide after dark, a significant safety hazard. James Futcher, creative leader at IKEA of Sweden says, “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.”

Little Sun is a global project and social business founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to bring sustainable, reliable, and affordable light and energy solutions to communities worldwide, especially to those living without regular access to electricity. On the ground, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Little Sun distributes solar-powered products and works with local entrepreneurs to create jobs and bring sustainable energy to empower those who need it the most.

“We want to connect the world by sharing the power of the sun in order to promote a sustainable lifestyle. The collaboration with IKEA is a huge opportunity to raise awareness for energy access and the urgent need for global solutions, while at the same time working with world-leading product designers”

– Olafur Eliasson, artist and founder of Little Sun.

Facilitating people’s lives and reducing dependency on unreliable public infrastructure is one of the main ambitions behind this collaboration focusing on solar energy. IKEA and Little Sun have been learning from those living outside the electrical grid, through their own choice or not, to understand their experiences and the challenge they face. Gaining a clearer idea about their needs has helped to come up with a range of products which can improve life in and outside of the home. IKEA and Little Sun have been developing solar panels that can be attached and connected to windows, charging docks, and lights but can also provide solutions for active outdoor life.

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019

PLANNED LAUNCH DATE: 2021 / DESIGNERS: Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson / CREATIVE LEAD: James Futcher, Ikea / PHOTOS: © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019 / TEXT: Edited from the press release by NESS

Check out our eclectic compilation in The FestiveNESS Advent Calendar!

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