Designed by Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove and manufactured by Artemide, Solar Tree is an urban lighting system created as a part of Clerkenwell Design Week 2012. This futuristic design uses panels and LED lighting units to provide environmentally friendly illumination powered by solar energy.
Much of Lovegrove's work is inspired by nature, and he says his work possesses “a trinity between technology, materials science, and intelligent organic form.” The plant-like structure is made of twenty steel pipes, which resemble plant stems and grass. Six of the pipes support solar panels, four support large lights, and ten grass-like stalks are topped with LED lights. All of the steel pipes are connected to 38 solar cells that are in turn connected to a battery system and to an electronic device hidden in the base.
The intention of the design is to return a sense of ‘natural' beauty to an otherwise concrete urban environment. The installation will light up at night in St. John's square during the 2012 Olympics and until late September 2012.