Designer: Studio Unite - Alice Minsoo Chun
Location: New York, New York, USA
The Solar Puff is an inflatable foldable balloon that is designed based on an origami paper balloon. The Puff takes one puff of air to inflate; the 6 LED lights can illuminate the room at night for 6-8 hours via the bladder of the Puff.
I have traveled to Haiti and Nigeria and witnessed many people, thousands of people using kerosene cups and lighting them on fire for use at night because there was no grid in many of these regions. In areas of extreme poverty it is critical to let the children learn school work but they cannot afford the batteries or the fuel for the kerosene, money that could be better spent to feed their children, pay for school, or books.
On average, the cost of the fuel is sometimes 30% of a person's income. I have seen children coughing and trying to do homework with these kerosene lamps; or out on a street corner reading from street lights. Every child should have the ability to have a light at night. Foldability and low cost is critical as the ability to package hundreds of the Puff as opposed to a dozen of the solar flash lights.I have been working religiously trying to get the cost down so that every one with out access to a grid can afford the solar light Puff. The Puff does just that.
Core77: What's the latest news or development with your project?
I showed the light PUFF to Bill Clinton and the new president of Haiti
President Martelly and they both loved it! I am talking with investors on getting the first 5,000 produced in Haiti and Africa.
I willÂ meeting with some people from the Clinton Foundation to do that.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
I wanted to make sure that I would not be wasting material so the design had to be efficient. My friend came back from Japan and gave me a paper toy balloon used for kids parties. It gave me a pattern that was more efficient than what I had been using for the balloon part of the puff.
Read on for full details on the project and jury comments.