Thursday Salute to Originals: Small Design, Big Impact

The developing world has crucial issues, some of which must be resolved through political action or economic involvement, but some that can be solved through clever and innovative design. One such issue is low-income households in developing nations lacking access to electricity or ample sunlight. A solution to this problem was born in Brazil, where families have designed a light source from used bottles, simplifying their access to illumination.

The light source is created by filling the bottles with a water & bleach solution, placing the sealed upper half of the bottle above ground or in a roof. The result is a reliable source of light being created from refracting the sun’s rays. The bottle creates about the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. This solution also has another benefit in that it is recycling non-biodegradable bottles that might otherwise be discarded in a landfill (talk about a “bright” idea)!

As designers, we try to solve complex problems with innovative solutions that impact our world, but sometimes we attempt to resolve these issues with grand design schemes when all it really takes is a simple and small tweak that can make a huge difference in the lives of many people. We challenge you to think of small, inexpensive design concepts that can be simply transformed to make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Image credits: Dornob