SOLAR PUNK: It’s not just fiction

I often think about what the future will be like. In the midst of the advancements of our current Digital Revolution lies regression. People are becoming more detached and everything is so condensed. Communication (SMS, social media etc) and architecture (skyscrapers, housing complexes, centralised cities etc) are good examples. The degradation of Earth seems to spell a dystopian future. However I have seen the light (prepare for corny pun) - solar punk. I know for the most part, solar punk is sci-fi. But I believe that, to an extent, it can be a reality. Here are some EXISTING elements that I think fit into the solar punk future

1. Finolhu Villas, a 5 star resort on Kaafu Atoll in The Maldives. Its completely solar powered. The over water location and curved roofs make the design less rigid & linear…more fluid.

2. A “Secret Garden” in Uijeongbu, South Korea. This 20 000 square-ft park is on the 9th floor of a 12 story building. Its a marriage of nature and technology; one I imagine to belong in a solar punk future. Maze gardens, playgrounds, a pool and a cultural centre for the community are in keeping with natural and social intergration.

3. Eco-friendly bamboo houses and solar trees that the public can use for Wi-Fi and charging phones among other things.

4. Art!!! After all, we’re humans. How true are the words of Victor Hugo? “The beautiful is as useful as the useful. Perhaps more so” There’s no point in improving our surroundings if we cant admire them. These beautiful blown-glass trumpets are part of a collection by Etai Rahmil and Phil Siegel. They’re environmentally friendly, functional and stunning. Inspired by the seasons, these trumpets show how utility, nature and art can co-exist in the future.