From the creative mind of Vivian Lo, master’s-level student in Interaction Design at Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden, comes a lamp concept designed to make younger children develop eco-sensibilities that will ultimately lead to a sustainable lifestyle.
The concept, which we learned about via Designbuzz, is for an object that teaches children to favor sustainable concepts over consumerism. The object chosen was a lamp, which lights up a desk to do homework and also serves as a night light to chase shadows out of corners.
Playing on a number of stimuli, from tangible things as objects of care (i.e., an infant, a pet, a favorite blanket) to relationships within a family which teach a child about social responsibility (i.e., watch out for your baby brother, don’t pull the cat’s tail), the lamp-as-familiar became, in Lo’s artistic hands, a metaphor about caring.
Based on her belief that early education into sustainability would lead to a lifetime of eco-sensibility, Lo’s lamp/nightlight evolved into Mossbo, a soft-bodied creature-lamp based on solar power but reminiscent of Japanese animé creature Totoro, a forest creature taken from the ancient Shinto religion which predicated spirits in all things.
Mossbo, who is also a forest creature, is made with an eye to his/her entire life cycle, incorporating environmentally friendly materials that are efficient, biodegradable, almost fully recyclable and powered by renewable energy. In Mossbo’s case, this renewable energy functionality is via solar photovoltaic fibers incorporated into Mossbo’s pajama suit, which deliver energy to batteries stored inside the lamp body that power high-efficiency, touch-control operated LEDs in Mossbo’s head.
To feed Mossbo, all that is needed is for the child to put him/her in a sunny window and, once charged, Mossbo stands ready to keep a lighted vigil during the night on a low-light setting.