In her Changent blog, "Designtrepreneur" and Earthkeeper Change Agent Elizabeth Redmond reveals the progress made in her quest to get the POWERleap, a product that can harness energy from sidewalks, building lobbies, and even nightclub dance floors, into production. So what is it, exactly? As she explains:
[POWERleap is] a flooring system destined for high foot- traffic urban areas that generates electricity via human footfall. Think 5th Avenue powered by the stampede of shoppers! The POWERleap concept is meant to engage the community, you, to take responsibility and generate some of the electricity we use everyday. This interaction between our exerted energy and the electrical energy we create/consume is where my designer mind comes into practice--my job is to make it functional, mysterious, fun, interactive, educational, sexy, and satisfying; and also, to make it work! On a larger scale, my vision is to sustain urban public electrical consumption via human energy.
One of the things that makes Redmond's blog a fascinating read, and edifying for anyone trying to get a prototype into production, is that she doesn't shy away from reporting when things go wrong. Lately the need to ship POWERleap tiles bi-coastally has led to their in-transit destruction, leading her to experiment with designing even the packaging.
Up next for Redmond, who was recently featured in Metropolis Magazine's "Brilliant Simplicity: 15 designers Research, Collaborate, Innovate" short film, is securing funding for the next round of prototype improvements. Stay tuned here.
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