Olafur Eliasson, the Danish-Icelandic artist behind trippy buildings and whimsical installations, has a deep interest in bringing energy and power to those who lack it. As a co-founder of Little Sun, he’s spent years developing a roster of products aimed at generating light and energy, including a portable lamp, solar-powered charger, and dazzling light called Little Sun Diamond.
Little Sun’s newest product, Sammanlänkad, is a joint effort between Eliasson and Ikea that will add one more piece to the energy puzzle. Sammanlänkad is a portable solar battery, about half the size of a human hand, that can double as a light.
Currently in prototype mode, Sammanlänkad is designed to hang in a window during the day and soak up solar energy. At night, the solar storage unit can be used as a light or as a charger for electronics like a phone or laptop.
Prototypes show a small bulb-like object encased in metal stands and structures that transform the charger into a design object.
“One of the challenges is that we need to repurpose the experience of solar panels as a cool piece of technology,” Eliasson told Dezeen. “A charged battery is money in the bank, so it needs to look like a resource rather than something ugly and unattractive.”