Little Sun + Wolff Olins Case Study
Artist Olafur Eliasson (best known for his sun installation at Tate Modern) has created Little Sun working with his partner Frederick Ottesen– in response to the energy issues facing certain parts of the world.
Little Sun is a beautiful, hand-sized, solar-powered light. Five hours of light realized from five hours of charging. Little sun is a project to get as many of these lights to the 1.6 billion people currently not receiving electricity (off grid). Little Sun is a work of art by Olafur Eliasson.
Wolff Olins is one of Little Sun’s development partners helping get it from an idea and prototype into the world. We worked very closely with Studio Olafur Eliasson in three specific areas:
Articulating the specialness of what Little Sun is: “a work of art which works in life”, the fundamental concept of Little Sun: “taking what is for all of us (sun) and making it for each of us” and what little Sun offers “light for living – for cooking, eating, for reading, writing, for looking, for looking at. For living, learning, earning. For sharing and socialising.”
Creating the brand and a simple iconic brand identity for Little Sun based on taking the sun down from the sky and putting it in individuals’ hands. And subsequently taking that identity and producing the designs for the website, packaging, point of sale, posters and the Tate exhibition.
Developing a radical business model that is driven by putting most profit to the point of need and encourages individuals in those areas to set up their own small businesses so that Little Sun (and other groups and services) can reach more people. This is in contrast with a conventional model, where most profit is taken at the centre.
Little Sun launched at the Tate Modern in August as part of Festival 2012; trending on twitter on the day it launched.
The hope is to sell at least 500,000 in the next year and 50 million by 2020 by distributing the lamps to entrepreneurs across the developing world.