Interview with Solar Designer Marjan van Aubel about her stunning OPV design for the Dutch pavilion on the WorldExpo2020 in Dubai

by Dirk Buchhauser

Marjan van Aubel (born 1985, the Netherlands) is an award-winning solar designer whose innovative practice spans the fields of sustainability, design, and technology. In 2019 she won a Dutch Design Award chosen by the Public and in 2018 the Climate Action Challenge by What Design Can Do. In 2017, Swarovski named Marjan the Designer of the Future, and in 2016 she received WIRED’s Innovation Award, the Wallpaper Design Award and was chosen to be the Radicale Vernieuwer (Radical Pioneer) Netherlands by Neelie Kroes. She received the London Design festival Emerging Talent medal in 2015 and in 2012 she won the First Prize Dutch Material Award.

Visit the Marjan van Aubel Studio
Follow her on Instagram Marjan, you are doing installations with OPV – what is it, that makes this technology special in your understanding?
Marjan: From a design point of view this technology has a lot of potential; its is transparent, lightweight and colored. This gives you so much more freedom and possibility then other PV technologies. What is your general background and how did you came up with becoming a “Solar Designer”?
Marjan: I have studied Product Design in Amsterdam at the Rietveld Academy and did my Masters in London at Royal College of Art in London. As at a certain moment I only worked with Solar technology and design, I changed the name to solar designer. Currently there is not enough focus on the combination of solar-energy and design yet, so thought it was necessary to emphasize this. How did this end up with you and your studio becoming the Solar Architect for the Dutch Pavilion?
Marjan: We have worked previously on the combination of Solar and growing food through solar greenhouses. The concept of the pavilion is a biotope where food, water and energy are connected. So this topic fitted very well with the concept and we were asked to join. Can you reveal with whom you collaborate for this project?
Marjan: Of course 🙂 It was very nice to work together with OPVIUS GmbH on this. What comes next for you in the solar space?
Marjan: We are focusing on making Solar more mobile and accessible. Therefore, we are developing a range of new products and will launch the first one end of this summer! This will be an indoor light that you hang in front of the window, it charges during the day and in the evening, it will give you light back.

Thanks, Marjan for the interview and exciting events with your design at the WorldExpo2020

The Team

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