On 6th of May 2017, we invited around 20 people and had the Solar DIY workshop in the Main Library of Lohja. We are very happy to share our initial steps with Lohja residents toward the Solar Movement here in Aalto Creative Sustainability website. This workshop was initially a PET project for one of the Aalto University course.
“Who has the right to solar energy?”
The idea of the workshop was derived from a simple question “who has the right to solar energy?”. Although there has been a lot of trials for sustainability in Finland, we wondered why it is hard to see actual changes in energy source of individual households. From the previous projects, we found that one of the reasons is a big gap between the solar energy industry and people.
Most of the attempts at changing public opinion have been made at governmental and industrial levels and all the attempts seems to be excluding the human being from the design cycle and focusing on technicality and functionality more than anything else; all and all that process is leaving the feeling and mindset that solar energy is something far away and can not be linked to our daily lives. Having that in mind, we, HIDE are trying to bridge the gap between solar energy and individuals by providing people with direct experiences of solar panels.
To our surprise, the workshop was very diverse. Our participants were from a wide range of age, background and gender. All enjoyed in their own way, unlike our expectation that there would be more male adult participants. One participant said to us that “Thank you for having this workshop in Lohja. It was a very interesting workshop”. They were very concentrated on making and often surprised with basic principles of solar panels by saying “The charger works even with little bit of light, we weren’t even out of the building and it started charging!”
Our youngest participant was around 5-6 years old, he came with his father and made the charger; also a daughter and mother sat at the same table and made the lights while helping each other. We encouraged the participants to be creative with solar products: designing the cover for charger; thinking about how to put the solar light with jars: upgrading the solar system by adding more panels.
Workshop Coordinators: Goeun Park, Soroush Moradi.
Workshop Assistants: Dan Palarie, Maaret Syväoja.
Photographs: Dan Palaries