Marjan van Aubel talks to Icon about her life in design in the latest from Icon Minds
In the latest episode of Icon Minds in collaboration with Arper, Icon editor Priya Khanchandani spoke to designer Marjan van Aubel about her work with solar power and the ways she incorporates different design disciplines within her practice.
Van Aubel, born in the Netherlands, studied at the Rietveld Academy Design Lab and completed her MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in 2012. Since then she has gone on to win several awards for her work, particularly for her focus on sustainability and green energy.
Watch the full interview here:
Her work is based around the use of solar panels, specifically how to incorporate their use into architectural projects and product design in a way that is design-led and visually appealing. As she explains in the Icon Minds interview, solar panels are often associated with quite ugly 'blue panels on roofs and we really see it as just a technology... There's a gap between how we could live with solar panels and how we perceive it – we know it's good for the environment but we don't really want them on our house.'
Van Aubel's work is really about bringing this technology into the world of design, trying to harness energy in a green way in a product 'that is also beautiful'. It's evident throughout her work, including in projects such as Current Window, in which Van Aubel replaced windows in a building on Greek Street, London, with coloured panels of glass that generated electricity from daylight. The dye-sensitised solar cells that made up the window panes were able to generate energy that was directly used to charge people's phones.
In this Icon Minds interview, van Aubel discusses her other work, including plans for the Dutch Ministry of Finance in the Hague, where she has proposed embedding solar technologies within the facade of the building, which she describes as a 'glass palace'. On a smaller scale too, van Aubel has projects in progress, including individual lamps that use solar technology in innovative and beautiful ways.