Light Generator

Designs On— Global Warming

Simply put, Light Generator is a concept for a sustainable street lighting system. It is part product design, part social sculpture, and part renewable energy resource. It also happens to be a mechanism for uniting communities in the effort to conserve energy and power-up together, transforming human energy into a very tangible, practical commodity. Light Generator is composed of a network of street lamps that collect energy from proactive pedestrians, who willingly take a turn at the crank wheel mounted at the base of the pole. In this way, people can power the urban environment. The end result: reduced electricity bills and revitalized community activism.


Designs On— Global Warming

For too long it has been too easy to take energy for granted. No more. On/Off is a series of in-home devices that encourage homeowners to consume less.

Clockwise from left:

“Light” replaces standard switch plates with a radio frequency receiver that turns lights on and off, depending on proximity to the ring-shaped transmitter, which can be worn as an accessory and adjusted in sensitivity by turning the inner dial. Never again will leaving a room also mean leaving the lights on.

“Heat” replaces the standard thermostat. When cold, you simply lift the red flag. As the room reaches a comfortable temperature, the arm drops back to its resting position.

“Plug” is a playful device to raise awareness about electricity consumption. When the red ring is pulled, it activates in-home power for five minutes, and then retracts back into the wall plate.


Designs On— Global Warming

Preserve is a product design concept with the goal of gradually educating users about personal habits related to energy consumption. It comes in the form of an attractive hourglass-inspired interface that sits on prominent display, for all to see. It’s a beautiful object that also plays the role of master controller over electricity usage at home. When the hourglass empties, the electricity that runs through the house turns off automatically. When the user voluntarily turns the hourglass into its horizontal docking position, he or she elects to turn the electricity off. When it sits vertically, energy is being consumed, until it reaches its daily maximum. At the end of each day, overturning the hourglass marks the beginning of a new cycle of energy expenditure.

Wear Socks, Reduce your Footprint

Designs On— Global Warming

This design concept is meant to inspire a simple shift in thinking about our individual energy imprint on the Earth. No new product has to be purchased to help one behave more sustainably; one needs simply to start behaving more sustainably with what’s on hand, or foot! The simple act of slipping on a pair of socks to stay warm is a great way to tread a little lighter on the Earth, cut electricity bills, and make good use of readily available resources. Being green is not meant to be exclusive. Being green is an open invitation to one and all. Start now. Wear socks.

The Protons

Designs On— Global Warming

The Protons are a set of playful toy monster lamps that both educate and animate: they light up and glow when they are charged, by way of human-powered interaction. By directly relating human effort to light output, we can communicate the process behind, and the value provided by, energy production. To operate The Protons, the user pulls a cord repeatedly for one minute, which yields three hours of illumination—just the right amount of time to light the journey into dreamland. The Proton is a renewable light source and earning tool that tangibly connects effort in with energy out.

Dear Design Director

Designs On— Global Warming

A hand-written letter placed on a design director’s desk might encourage him or her to think twice before bringing to life yet another object. Scribed on a piece of paper found in the trash, this concept is meant to remind leaders in the design industry that even a so-called sustainable new product is still one more object that populates (and likely pollutes) our world. These letters include pull-off tabs to inspire viral messaging. That is, the recipient can spread the message among an eager team of young designers, and so on, and so on.

The Living Coffin: A Sustainable Death Experience

Designs On— Global Warming

Grieving the loss of a loved one is a difficult journey we all sooner or later come to experience. The Living Coffin concept responds to this emotional challenge by transforming a burial site into a living memorial. The idea is to grow a maple tree on-site, allowing it to become one with the deceased, enabling the essence of the person to entwine with the life force of the tree. Over time, an entire cemetery of Living Coffins transforms into a city park that encourages leisure while also celebrating the legacy of lost loved ones.

The Living Coffin is made of a biodegradable starch that provides food for the maple tree seeds embedded within its walls. Upon burial, the seeds begin to decompose and provide nutrients to the surrounding trees.

5-Gallon Jug

Designs On— Global Warming

This concept is built on the premise that knowledge inspires behavioral change. A digital in-shower display in the familiar shape of a five-gallon water jug reflects water usage from an in-line flow meter (that generates power for the display). At a rate of five gallons per minute, an individual in the shower for 15 minutes will see they’ve consumed 75 total gallons, or 25 five-gallon jugs!

Consider it

Designs On— Global Warming

Despite the short-term convenience of paper and plastic bags, the only long-term solution is to use a bag you already own, over and over, again and again. The alternatives can be recycled, but relentlessly enter the waste stream and end up as landfill. Sustainable solutions start with a small change from a lot of people. And a little consideration.