Marjan van Aubel has designed Ra, a self-powering, flexible piece of lighting as well as art using a third-generation solar technology. Inspired by the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra, the design uses sunlight to turn energy into a form of art. The vibrant colored solar cells capture sunlight, harvest it locally, and make the integrated light shine in the evening.
Ra uses the latest technology with organic photovoltaics, which is printed on thin foils and produced sustainably. This technology is more efficient than the traditional solar panels, owning to the organic solar cells that are much lighter. The energy captured by Ra is stored in an integrated battery that powers the electroluminescent paper. In the evening, this electroluminescent paper starts to glow, using the energy captured.
Ra changes colors throughout the day, depending on the position of the Sun. The bright graphic patterns create a moire effect that casts vivid and interesting colored shadows into the space.
The designer intends to convey the post-fossil future through the series, ‘just like stained glass windows in churches used to tell stories of the past.’
“Let’s turn solar energy into a form of art.”
– Marjan van Aubel