Gallery: Ross Lovegrove Solar Trees in Vienna


If you’re lucky enough to be in Vienna on the 8th of October, be sure to check out the glowing plant-like solar trees that will line the streets near the MAK museum. Designed by Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove, the Solar Trees bring a sense of optimism to grey urban environments and remind us of a greener future.

Ross Lovegrove, who most recently caught our eye with his System X modular lighting, has made his name by merging cutting edge technology with great design to produce everything from furniture to lighting. As part of the MAKDesignNite at the MAK museum in Vienna, the artist and his studio have conceived a modular urban lighting system which is powered by the sun. Created in conjunction with Artemide and Sharp Solar, the artist aims to have his piece provide a dialogue between complex natural forms and the stark the sharpness of our urban environments.

The Solar Tree will be unveiled at 8.30pm on the 8th of October at the Ringstraße in front of the MAK Museum during the Vienna Design Week event. If you are around go take a look and send us your pics! (via Designboom)

+ Ross Lovegrove Solar Tree
+ MAKDesignNite


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  1. uttej September 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

    how does it working . send to my mail.

  2. jhass September 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    me encantan… que bueno lo que haces amigo ..un beso!

  3. East Wood August 21, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Hi, it’s a pleasure to have the same neme “solar-tree” with you,

    Actually, I am also interested in Solar study and Environment protection.

    Welcome to put selected images of your “solar-tree” on my website.

    Any questions? Please let me know by sending email to me.


    East Wood

  4. Simon January 28, 2008 at 1:10 am

    These are not supposed to replace trees, they are supposed to replace conventional streetlighting with a renewable and environmentally friendly alternative. There are ideas for making them into cheerful meeting points in cities where mobile telephones etc. can be recharged from the solar energy.

    Some writers here are missing the point, the only way to have a real tree that lights up the street would be to set it on fire! Light pollution- stick a shade on them.

    Take a happy pill and look on the bright side, these are beautiful, creative and as well as adressing the issue also draw attention to the problem. I applaud cities like Vienna and Freiberg for their procative approach.

  5. tory n January 24, 2008 at 10:15 am

    These are incredible! how great would it be to see those in cities! thanks for thinking inovative.:)

  6. Environmentalist December 30, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Unfortunatelly presented solar luminairs and not totally shielded, this is why they are not good for our envirnoment. Any light which is directed over horizont (over 90 degrees) is a source of light pollution.
    Eve photon directed in horizontal line is about 50 times (!!!) more dangerous that photon directed down to the roads.

    I hope new design will also care about light pollution. It is not enought to have just green products but the MUST have also low impact on environment, in this case on light pollution.

    Clear skies


  7. Shazly December 6, 2007 at 2:15 am

    Love it…inspiring…like Apple Inc

  8. Daniele Perna November 9, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Mr. Lovegroves Solar Tree is inspiring and is a slice of the future. When I was a teenager and university student I read a lot of science fiction. I often imagine the architecture and design of the future. This Solar Tree reaches my highest expectation. Design of this nature is a complement to the human experience, expressing contemporary imagination at its highest level.

    Daniele Perna

  9. Eurico Paes Leme November 5, 2007 at 2:52 am

    I don’t believe Lovegrove ever thought about replacing real trees with his creation. Being himself a master of his art, that would be unconcievable. The simple concept of changing the outlook of something so ordinary as a streetlight is genial – the way Lovegrove did it is astonishing.
    I live in a country (Brazil) where we are still in the stage of devastating our forests. We have plenty of trees in the streets, but no art. I guess it’s part of the human nature – never to be content with what we’ve got.
    As an engineer – not an architect -, I was hypnotized by Lovegrove’s “Solar Trees”. It belongs to another dimension.

  10. Morrigan October 20, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    What about light pollution?
    They don’t look as if they are sheilded. Light pollution is a serious problem not just for astronomers who can’t see the stars. Animals and plants are affected by excess light. It’s messing with their body clocks. Theres no night anymore if you live in a town or city. Just an orange sky.
    If you want something natural, plant trees.
    Sheild streetlights so the light goes where it is supposed to and then one day we can all enjoy a star filled sky again.
    Better than any art work.

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  12. Clara October 9, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Trees, they will never be able to replace but as alternatives to street lighting, why not?

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  14. Barbara Piplits October 8, 2007 at 11:29 am

    As I am an Austrian who happens to live in the States I was happy to see the pictures of the Solar Trees in front of the MAK in Vienna. MAK stands short for Museum of the Applied Arts (in German the acronym makes more sense). The trees are a perfect combination of beautiful design, contemporary art and environmental thoughtfulness (the solar panels), and I love that they also have a use – giving light, this is more than I normally expect to find in modern art.

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  17. Chris October 4, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Yah, these things are way cool. Beautiful even.

  18. Sarah October 4, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Wow… those are really ugly.

  19. Marko October 4, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    the old manhas still got it.this thing is beautiful!

  20. Kenneth October 4, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Fantastic design, really great idea. We need street lights in cities, better they are more efficient and beautiful! I don’t think anyone is trying to raplace actual trees here–trees have already been ‘designed’ as it were- there’s no imporving on them! This street just happens to not have any real trees in addition to the lamps, which is unfortunate. As an aside here, what ‘gets up my nose’ is how negative most of the comments in these forums tend to be. With this kind of attitude we will get nowhere in fixing the mess we’ve made of the environment. We all know there’s lots of work to do, this sort of design is a good step. ALwyas room for improvement, sure. But a good step.

  21. David Luck October 4, 2007 at 11:37 am

    So may I ask why is this project “Green”.. The solar energy generated by the tiny panels is negligable. The story does not actually tell us if these lights still have any kind of mains supply? Which I assume they will! Personally this is the kind of pointless money wasting guff from wannabe greenies that really gets up my nose!

  22. JS October 4, 2007 at 9:01 am

    tarmost…i agree completely. we’re living this weird divided, technological paradigm in which we find ecological salvation in mechanical ingenuity rather than the true power and performance of nature. even our definitions are twisted, just like in the story about “sense of optimism to grey (sic) urban environments and remind us of a greener future”.

    like you, i can’t imagine anything reminding me more of a greener future than an actual tree. in too many ways our artifacts blind us to the simple stuff.

    that said, this tree is awesome and i can’t wait to spec it out on future jobs!

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  24. Carlo October 4, 2007 at 7:41 am

    They’re already being used?

  25. The Solar Trees of Vien... October 4, 2007 at 7:23 am

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  30. tarmost October 4, 2007 at 4:13 am

    “…the Solar Trees bring a sense of optimism to grey urban environments and remind us of a greener future.”
    who wrote this crap. greener future should be real trees or am i wrong.

    (don’t get me wrong, i have nothing against the Solar Trees and design, but i don’t buy the story)

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