COPENHAGEN, Denmark, May 26, 2015 /CNW/ - The winners of the Natural Light - International Design Competition have now been chosen from the 172 impressive Natural Light Lamp designs submitted from 65 countries around the world. The winners are two very talented Argentinian Industrial Design students, Ms. Mariana Arando and Mr. Luca Fondello, both from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The production phase of the winning design for the Natural Light Lamp will begin shortly, followed next year by shipment of the lamps to three African countries without access to electricity.
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Last year, the VELUX Group and Little Sun joined forces to launch the Natural Light - International Design Competition, which challenged design students around the world to create a design for a solar lamp which would help to bring clean, reliable, affordable light to some of the 1.2 billion people worldwide living without electricity. Now the jury has voted and decided on the winning solar lamp design by two Industrial Design students from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
"We are very excited to have won the Natural Light-International Design Competition. Winning such a competition could represent a huge opportunity for our future careers. We are so anxious to see our design and concept for the Natural Light solar lamp when it has been produced and serves its purpose. We liked the idea of helping and empowering people who do not have electricity and that was our primary motivating factor throughout the whole process. We are also glad that our lamp will be produced in 14,500 units and sent to Africa, where it can do some good for many families," said Ms. Mariana Arando and Mr. Luca Fondello, Industrial Design students at the University of Buenos Aires.
The jury members were very impressed by the creativity, innovation and thoughtfulness of the winning design.
"Providing access to light is not only about answering a functional need. It is also about understanding the intimate link between energy and our aspirations, our common global desire for happiness. I strongly believe that these two aspects of design must always be seen as one. The winning design addresses both - and more: it understands that holding energy in your hand makes you feel empowered. This design is empowering," says Artist Olafur Eliasson, Founder of Little Sun and Chairman of the Natural Light jury.
To celebrate the VELUX Group's 75th anniversary, 14,500 Natural Light lamps will be produced, based on the competition's winning design. The lamps will be distributed by the NGO Plan International in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Senegaa in late 2015 and early 2016. The aim is to deliver sustainable, solar-powered light to people living in areas without electricity, through a program that involves and empowers local communities.
"As part of the VELUX Group's Model Company Objective we are committed to providing areas in Africa with no access to electricity with light -thus giving back to society. We are a company built on knowledge of light, and we use our expertise where we believe it will have the greatest impact. As part of our 75thanniversary, we are glad to be able to donate 14,500 affordable and sustainable solar lamps empower people with sustainable light in African regions. The winningdesign is not only perfect from an aesthetic point of view but is also very well thought through conceptually, so we are confident that the lamp will be useful and provide the lightwe intended," says Michael K. Rasmussen, Marketing Director of the VELUX Group.
The winning designers
The winners of the Natural Light - International Design Competition, Ms. Mariana Arando, (22 years old), and Mr. Luca Fondello, (23 years old), both live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and are studying Industrial Design together at the University of Buenos Aires (FADU, Department of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning). Both students are very committed to their education, while also remaining open to wider learning from exciting projects and gaining new experiences from competitions such as this.
Distribution of the Natural Light lamp
The distribution model employed is very similar in concept to micro loans, in which small local entrepreneurs who cannot obtain loans under normal circumstances due to a lack of steady income or collateral are offered small loans that can help get their businesses started. To help kick-off sales, these entrepreneurs will initially receive a stock of Natural Light lamps for free. Once they have sold their stock, the result is a profit for themselves and also the capital to purchase additional lamps to sell: establishing their own self-sustaining small businesses.
About the Natural Light - International Design Competition
The competition encouraged young and talented design students to create a special edition solar lamp in honor of the 75th anniversary of the holding group behind VELUX, VKR Holding. The Natural Light Project was launched to mark the milestone of the VELUX Group's work in improving living conditions around the world by bringing daylight into people's homes. The VELUX Group collaborated with Little Sun, which is a social business and a global project founded by internationally-renowned artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, to bring clean, sustainable light to people in areas of the world without electricity.
About the VELUX Group
For more than 70 years, the VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world. Making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof.
Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights as well as a range of decoration and sun screenings, roller shutters, installation solutions and intelligent home controls. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate. For work and learning. For play and pleasure.
We work globally - with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 10,000 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family.
For more information, visit http://www.velux.com .
About VKR Holding
VKR Holding is the parent company of a group of companies that manufacture, market and sell a range of products including roof windows, vertical windows and accessories under the brands VELUX, VELFAC, RATIONEL and WindowMaster. The company has the objective of bringing daylight, fresh air and a better environment into people's everyday lives. On 1 April 2016, VKR Holding will celebrate its 75th anniversary.
About Little Sun
Little Sun is a social business and global project founded by world-renowned artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to bring clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.2 billion people in the world living off-grid, in areas without electricity. The project's first product, the Little Sun solar LED lamp, is sold all over the world. Purchasing Little Suns in areas of the world with electricity makes the lamps available in off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices, where they provide a clean alternative to toxic and expensive fuel-based lighting such as kerosene lanterns.
Little Sun addresses the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities by working with local entrepreneurs, creating local jobs, and generating local profits. The Little Sun project was officially launched in July 2012 at London's Tate Modern. Since then, more than 200,000 Little Sun lamps have been distributed worldwide, with almost half going to off-grid areas. In April 2014, Little Sun received a groundbreaking $5 million impact investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, making it possible to scale Little Sun's operations across the African continent.
For more information:
About Plan Denmark
Plan Denmark is a part of Plan International - one of the oldest and largest children's development organizations in the world. Plan operates in 52 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote children's rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan's working areas has a population of 164.9 million people - including 81.5 million children. Plan is a child-centered community development organization working with children, their families, communities, organizations and local governments to bring about positive change. We encourage and help children and youth to take an active role in finding solutions to their problems and realizing their full potential.
SOURCE The VELUX Group
For further information: Tanja Thorsteinsson, Media Relations Manager, The VELUX Group, Telephone: +45-26-70-27-28, @: [email protected]