Solarkiosk

SouthernKiosks33 copy 2Solarkiosk in Turmi, Ethiopia. Credit: Georg Schaumberger

An innovation of Graft Architects and Andreas Spiess, the Solarkiosk was developed for people in rural, off-grid regions.

This concerns the African continent in particular, where roughly 800 million people live without electricity. It is not uncommon for families to spend 40% of their income on dirty energy such as kerosine, and they are very limited in terms of communication and essential goods. This results in the perpetual isolation of rural villages and heavy dependency on governmental structures and institutions. The Solarkiosk is a way to cooperate directly with the local population, offering communities access to clean, cost-efficient energy and uncensored communication while allowing for growth.

A hub for new, independent, local marketplaces, the Solarkiosk is also a place for villagers to charge their electronic devices, access the Internet and have light at night, which on the equator lasts 12 hours all year round. Further, food and medication can be refrigerated – a crucial step toward bettering health conditions.

With its flexible “assembly kit design,” the kiosk can be set up and disassembled anywhere. Broken down into its lightweight parts, it can be transported to remote locations, in extreme cases even on donkeys. Regionally produced materials complement the electrical components of German manufacture. Individual, modular designs are developed upon request in accordance with users’ needs.

In Ethiopia, Kenya and Botswana, 15 kiosks have been put in place – 25 more are underway for Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana. At every location thus far the Solarkiosk swiftly became the central gathering place.

In 2013, the Solarkiosk won the International Architecture Award and the German Federal Ecodesign Award. In 2014, it was nominated for the German Federal Design Prize.

GRAFT provides us with one Solarkiosk for our Little Wood project. The kiosk generates clean electricity with which to refrigerate food and drinks and does wonders for our bodily well-being, lighting and music at Little Wood.

Solar-196Solarkiosk at Radialsystem, Berlin. Credit: Tobias Hein

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