Research and Experimentation

research, education, labs

Winner: Olafur Eliasson for ‘Little Sun’ and ‘Little Sun Diamond

Olafur Eliasson has won the 'Research and Experimentation' prize with the 'Little Sun' and 'Little Sun Diamond' projects.

Olafur Eliasson has won the 'Research and Experimentation' prize with the 'Little Sun' and 'Little Sun Diamond' projects.

Founded in 2012 by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and South African engineer Frederik Ottesen, the Little Sun project has, for over 5 years, been providing energy to communities without electricity worldwide — a figure which now comes to more than 1.1 billion people. Originally founded to realize a solar powered lamp, the project has since expanded into a full range of solar products, each new idea experimenting with how sustainable energy can change people’s lives now. For each unit sold in a market with electricity, one of Little Sun’s partners sells a similar product in their part of the world at an locally affordable price. The project’s most recent creation — completed in 2016 — is the ‘Little Sun Diamond’, a crystalline lamp that can provide up to four hours of illumination. With both a directed reading light and a more ambient light setting, the Little Sun Diamond acts as a more mature iteration of its predecessors. Unable to attend on the night, Eliasson sent THE DESIGN PRIZE a short video of thanks stating how happy and proud he was to receive the award, and urging attendees to promote social change through this new product.