To demonstrate the power of renewables and encourage a transition to a cleaner, cooler planet, French designer Mathieu Lehanneur created a line of solar-powered street furniture. The designs include the Clover street lamp and bench, and other wooden outdoor furniture crafted to resemble the shape of trees, allowing the high-tech innovation to blend right in with the existing environment.
The wooden poles have been cleverly designed to look handcrafted, despite actually being digitally machined in an industrial process that combines and blends multiple types of wood. Atop each pole are domed LED lamps positioned downward to reduce potential light pollution and energy loss. An oval section covered in solar panels faces the sun to collect energy throughout the day and is able to power the streetlight for up to three hours.
Beneath the lamps, pedestrians can find matching wooden benches shaped like oversized twigs, where they can rest while charging their phones through a self-service hatch in the lamppost. Each object uses a blend of wood from local sources, which Lehanneur likens to replanting “a tree that always should have been there. ”
If you’re in Paris and you’d like to spend a little time relaxing under the Clover lamp, you can find the furniture set outside the city’s Ministry of Ecology building.