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For a small country — population: 5.3 million — Denmark bristles with creativity. Borgen. Susanne Bier’s two best films, After the Wedding and In a Better World. Lukas Graham. Noma. In World War II, the Danes outwitted the Germans and moved their Jews to Sweden. They have the odd belief that every citizen is entitled to health care, family services, old-age pensions, child care, etc. And if the Danes I know are at all representative, they’re… nice.
One thing Denmark has in abundance: darkness. On the day when Denmark gets the least sunlight, the sun rises at 8 AM and sets at 3:30.
This might explain why a Dane would invent the Little Sun, a solar-powered light you can carry in your hand.
It would not begin to explain why Olafur Eliasson invented it.
Eliasson was part of the design team for New York’s High Line. It’s his smallest achievement. (To be very impressed, read this.) He’s one of those geniuses who makes art in many media, has an architecture practice and a charity, and is, right this minute, surely dreaming up something cool that helps the planet. Like Little Sun…
Little Sun looks modest — it’s plastic, and weighs less than 5 ounces — but it packs considerable power, some actual, some humanitarian. You can use it as a reading light, a light for a dark closet, a travel light when you’re camping out. It comes pre-charged and ready to go; with just a few hours of sunlight, you get as many as 50 hours of power. Worn around the neck, it’s jewelry and a conversation piece. [To buy a Little Sun light from Amazon, click here.]
The humanitarian piece is just as important to Eliasson: “We believe that the power of sustainable energy transforms lives, especially for those 1.1. billion of us who live without access to energy. We’re not going to solve the Ukraine crisis, we’re not going to solve Isis, but in theory if everyone has a light at home and can study, then you have less chaos in the world, probably.” Since Little Sun launched in 2012, Eliasson has distributed the lantern — at greatly reduced prices — to regions in Africa with no electricity.
In every environment, the light delivers a light bulb message. “Solar power is holding hands with the sun, and we believe that holding hands with the sun is holding hands with the future,” Eliasson says. “Little Sun is a work of art that works in life.”
[Tak skal du have, ADR.]
Previously published on The Head Butler.
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