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Marjan van Aubel

Solar Designer

Marjan van Aubel is an award-winning solar designer whose innovative practice spans the fields of sustainability, design and technology. In collaboration with scientists, engineers and institutions such as Swarovski and ECN.TNO, the Dutch Energy Centre, she works to promote extreme energy efficiency through intelligent design. Through her practice, she strives to redefine our current relationship with solar technology. Her aim is to make the products suitable for the mass market and accessible to all. In 2018 she won the Climate Action Challenge by What Design Can Do. In 2017, Swarovski named her the Designer of the Future. In 2016 she received WIRED’s Innovation Award, the Wallpaper Design Award and was chosen to be the “Radicale Vernieuwer” (Radical Pioneer) Netherlands.

keynote | English

3.55 p.m.


"Solar energy - everywhere for everyone"

Design and utility are intended to increase the value of a product. Van Aubel works to promote extreme energy efficiency through intelligent design. Her products are not only innovative but also sustainable. One of her visions is to redefine our relationship with solar technology and to make extreme energy efficient products more accessible to everyone. The first solar panels were invited in 1883 and in the past 60 years, the scientists have been working on making solar panels more efficient and more affordable. But the image of solar panels has stayed the same. And why do these solar panels always have to be so ugly? With a quick survey, she asks the audience who thinks that solar panels were aesthetically unpleasant, and the result turns out to be around 50%. By combining aesthetics and efficiency, van Aubel aspires to improve the integration of solar panels in our architecture and environment. Through intelligent design and materials, objects get a second function. For example, the function of a table is extended to become a producer of electricity by solar cells that mimic the process of photosynthesis in plants. The combination of engineering, technology and design can create products that are accessible for a diverse target group.