Developing innovative ideas for solar products
On a basis of user research, field trips, analysing market needs, and extensive idea development, BRIGHT develops innovative solar products.
By: Iben Bjørgulf Antonsen
The best ideas are often the simplest. The ones that make you wonder; why didn’t I think of this before? BRIGHT as a company was built and established because of a really good and simple idea, the SunBell: a multifunctional solar lamp with integrated USB for charging of electronic devices.
But how does BRIGHT develop great, innovative and successful ideas for solar products? How is that simple idea, which can contribute to solving some of the most complex problems in the world, developed?
Solar products as a solution to energy needs
When developing new ideas for solar products, the BRIGHT design team – Olivier Butstraen and Mohammed Yassin – start identifying needs:
“We ask ourselves; what are the requirements, issues and problems that needs to be fixed? And how can a product be a solution to these matters,” Olivier explains.
There are no manual or step-by-step procedure for how to develop innovative ideas. The starting point can be anything. The SunBell, for example, was developed on the basis of an assignment with the theme of light. With an ambition to make an environmentally friendly product to people who could benefit the most, the design company K8, with chief designer Marius Andresen in front, started developing ideas:
“We started with a focus on homeless people but got deeper and deeper into the segment of refugees. We went through tonnes of research, and it was especially interesting how access to electricity and light was considered some of the biggest boosters to development. Yet 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity, most of them with the sun as a reliable source of energy.”
Marius Andresen, K8
K8 made a framework for the off-grid market, and within six months the concept and technical solution of the SunBell was established after endless hours of academic research, field trips, product development and a steadfast ambition to be sustainable for those in need.
Find inspiration for new ideas in everything
In the process of developing an idea, an important thing to have in mind is that it continues to develop. An idea rarely comes to a stop or a final finish, so to say. This means that ideas and products continue to develop and can always be better or even transform into something new.
Even though the process of developing new, innovative ideas for solar products at BRIGHT can vary; the foundation upon which ideas spring always consists of an ambition to be sustainable, environmentally friendly and of high quality.
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