Ra by Marjan van Aubel

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A functional artwork inspired by the ancient Egyptian god.

Dutch solar designer Marjan van Aubel uses solar energy to create artworks and objects with a sustainable twist. The award-wining designer’s work has been included in the permanent collections of museums like MoMA in NYC and V&A in London, and she has also collaborated with world-renowned brands to create designs that promote clean solar energy. With Ra, Marjan van Aubel has created a functional artwork that works both as a decorative object and lighting. Inspired by Ra, the ancient Egyptian sun god, the piece transforms solar energy into art. Brightly colored solar cells capture the light of the sun during the day and store it in an integrated battery. At night, the battery powers the electro-luminescent paper and converts the design into a lamp.

The user only needs to hang Ra in a window. Throughout the day, it casts shadows in different colors, depending on the direction and intensity of the sunlight. In the evening, a ring of light glows brightly on the surface of the artwork. The concept also aims to tell the story of humanity’s path towards embracing solar energy to future generations, similarly to the way ancient artifacts have told the story of our past. Apart from third-generation sustainable and organic photovoltaics, the piece also features 1mm-thin electro-luminescent paper. Launched at the Cabinet of Collaborations Expo, during Dutch Design Week 2021, Ra is now available to order on a commission basis. Photography© Marjan van Aubel.

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