Kamworks is a Dutch company, based in Camdodia, specializing on solar powered solutions. Kamworks asked us – a team of four MSC. students of Product Design at TUDelft- to design a solar-powered lantern to serve the 70+ percent of Cambodians that have no access to the power grid.
We lived and worked on sight with the team for three months, where we had the chance to experience first hand what does living off the grid really mean.
Traditionally, after dark, kerosene lamps are used for tasks like cooking, eating and reading, but these lamps are highly dangerous (as most of these homes are made from wood and straw), unhealthy (smoke and soot) and also contribute to the greenhouse effect.
To understand the people’s needs and wants we engaged them in a participatory design process; getting insights about their daily activities, their income, and frequent feedback on the prototypes.
Figure 1: Field studies and interviews at people’s homes.
Figure 2: User interviews and feedback on prototypes.
Figure 3: Testing how to install the solar panels on people’s homes.
The result was “MoonLight” or else Ampul Preahchan in Khmer. A solar lantern that can be rented for less than $0.08/day, the same as the average daily expenditure on kerosene.
Figure 5: The Moonlight received two design awards, the Toon van Tuijl Designprijs, at the Dutch Design Awards in 2008 and the Feel the Planet Earth, CIFIAL Design Award 2008. Moonlight got into production by Kamworks in October 2009.
Figure 6: The project was carried out by four TUDelft MSc. students of Industrial Design: Ana Maria Alvarez, Doortje van de Wouw, Stephanie Wirth, and Loucas Papantoniou.
Figures 7-13: Beautiful images of Moonlight by Mathieu Young