These days the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT – campus was equipped with some functional art installations (outdoor chairs running on solar energy) called Soft Rocker, made by the students at the school of architecture led by Professor Sheila Kennedy as an antidote to “conventional hard urban infrastructure.”
The Soft Rocker is an outdoor chair running on solar energy which uses the power of human balance to get an optimal angle to the sun and having additional solar energy panel along the roof. Its design as a leaf like loop, show how using parametric design and automated fabrication, the standard softwood panels can be customized to adapt it at the latitude and sun angle of any site. The leverage is possible due to a dynamic manner of using human power of balance to create an interactive production of energy and using solar tracking system.
During the day the solar energy is stored in the 12 ampere-hour battery and while you relax on it, any USB portable electronic devices can be charged or used. According to MIT, this outdoor chair which use solar energy, is a combination between high and low tech design in order to give the everyday functionality of furniture and to bring together technology and social dynamics.
If you aren’t yet a MIT student it is certainly a disadvantage because of the relaxing moments. Anyway, we hope that the Soft Rocker outdoor chair will be taken as the idea by the other student campuses to better show the use of solar energy.