for the latest media in public assignment, we were asked to consider energy use within public space projects. i have found exploring sustainable energy sources an inspiring and interesting research area (i shall continue to wander down this path)
so for the assignment we were asked to sketch a public space art/design project that had no energy constraints… my initial proposal to the council involving several huge spotlights around the city, and with the additional connectivity to whatever controller is appropriate… this is a pretty power hungry project!
the other option was to create “a solar panel and hacked mp3 player to build a public-space messaging box.” wsn’t really sure what this meant (and i didn’t have an old mp3 player) so i bought a solar powered garden light from poundland, and started thinking about small energy friendly projects. having removed the solar panel and connected LED (see photo above) the light only turns on when it is dark (or when you cover the solar panel with your hand)… so i started to think about spaces in the city that are dark, or are regularly made dark, during the day in a city.
- bike seats – light turns on when you sit down on the seat (not necessary during the day)
- beer mats – when drink is placed on top beer mat is dark (what would an appropriate message or effect be?)
- the road at traffic lights – particularly underneath buses (messages could appear on roadside LCDs – pro cycling messages?)
- inside toilets – bit grim a location really…
- benches – when people sit down, solar panel goes dark (again what would be the result of this?)
i am continuing to think of locations, and what the stored energy could be used for… not sure of the voltage, but its not going to be high (1.5v…3v max?) i would like to develop this sustainable energy supply, and hopefully use energy harvesting to power my prototype for the city council project.
(that might be a little bit too ambitious/expensive!)