Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MoonLight goes online

Check out http://www.moonlight-lantern.com

"FEEL THE PLANET EARTH" Cifial Design Award 2008

At the "FEEL THE PLANET EARTH" Cifial Design Competition 2008 (Yes, the procedure took some time...), MoonLight has won one of the two first prizes. The 18th of June we received the award in Porto.

Loucas in action... The award money is equally divided between design team (perfect timing: from an economic point of view, it was not the smartest decision to graduate right now!) and University. TU Delft pays its part to Kamworks and supports this way their ambitious plan to produce the product for sale in fall (!).

We had enough time to visit the beautiful city of Porto...

...and spent quite some good time with the hospitable family of the award organisator...

Friday, January 30, 2009

The thing with the main lesson

I have been asked so many times about my main lesson from my BOP/sustainability design experience and I still struggle with the right two-sentences reply for a party, without pictures to show. Too many factors, a too long story, I definitely do not want to bore people. Besides, being a designer as well as a foreigner in the country I live in, I feel more comfortable with visual than verbal communication.

However, a Chinese friend and journalist asked me two months ago for one or two very short general statements in relation to our project that he wanted to implement in an article for a Chinese magazine about the Dutch Design Awards 2008.

"Absolute relevance is essential for success in sustainable development: Make it affordable, push quality AND make sure to understand the user's context. If these aspects are not in balance, it is not sustainable."

It becomes clear for instance that green technologies just represent a small part in sustainability. On the other hand I would have to tell in the same step that understanding the user's context cannot happen from a distance. And why. And how to translate affordability into marketing options that go beyond small unit prices. Und so weiter.

"Designing on the spot for the so-called Base of the Pyramid is an extreme challenge, from a personal as well as from a professional point of view. The biggest challenge is probably get these two important parts combined. Especially in a team"

Those who have worked on similar projects, will know what I mean. And maybe, a party is just not the right spot to tell about our experience.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Toon-van-Tuijl design award for the MoonLight

The MoonLight is the winner of one of the Dutch Design Awards, the Toon-van-Tuijl design price (check www.toonvantuijldesignprijs.nl and www.dutchdesignawards.nl). During the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the lamp will be shown in the "Greenhouse" with all the other winners of the Dutch Design Awards.

Kamworks is now working even harder on the quick realization of the lamp... The price also includes some financial help for further development. There is also a new, more informative website with explanations of the company's core business and collaboration possibilities concerning further projects (www.kamworks.com).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Movie about rural Cambodia and the development of the MoonLight

And here is a last movie to give a short impression of the surroundings of Kamworks and the living circumstances of families in rural Cambodia. Also, the last part shows some user research, which we did a lot and helped us to find an appropriate solution in this totally different context.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"MoonLight"/ "Ampoul Preahchan"

Officially, the project has been finished for a while... officially. Since our presentation end of July, we have still been busy with writing articles (e.g. for the BOP book of the university and for sponsors) and giving presentations (for sponsors). Doortje has been working on a range of new prototypes that will serve as demonstration pieces in different networks and projects.

Here are some more pictures of the last project phase in Cambodia:

Finally: At night in the workshop, excited about finishing the assembly of our very first prototype.

First test in a hut at night. Hard to capture the real effect with a camera, but: first enthusiastic reactions!

Some impressions from the extended user feedback sessions:

As many participants know us already from previous sessions, they dare to be very critical. Big relief: people are positively surprised and very motivated as they try out the lamp with the solar panel in their houses. Some families were even willing to buy the prototypes on the spot!

Kamworks indicated they would like to start producing the "MoonLights" as we called the product ("Ampoul Preahchan" in Khmer) as soon as possible. Hopefully this will happen! For more detailed information, please contact us!

We spent our last days in rainy Cambodia in rainy but beautiful Kampot instead of rainy Rattanakiri: Due to the weather, the roads to the North were too muddy and we had to return halfway... Some impressions from Kampot:

Women, working hard on the typical salt fields for very little money.

Rangers at Bokor Hill, a constantly foggy ghost village; a former recreation area for the French while colonization, later a refuge for the Khmer Rouge.
We collected so many pictures by now, that it is hard to choose... let us know if you are interested and want to know more about our project and/or our personal experiences in Cambodia. For now, a last one:

The "MoonLight" bringing Ana into trouble at Frankfurt airport...