Just over a month ago, the first SolarKiosk opened near Lake Langano, in Ethiopia. The project was conceived by Germany-based Graft Architects as part of a bigger move to bring clean power to people in regions of the world who live off the grid and rely on burning biomass for cooking and heating. As a consequence, their health suffers due to fumes they breathe in. The UN says that almost three billion live in those conditions.
A SolarKiosk is designed to provide enough power for villagers to charge their mobile phones and car batteries, run a computer, or power up a solar fridge. Goods sold from the Kiosk include solar lanterns, mobile phones, and cards to top-up cellular devices. The kiosk could also provide television, music, and internet depending on the location.
The designers were careful to make the transportation of the kiosk as easy as possible. Therefore it has been designed as a kit of parts that is assembled once it arrives at its target destination. The packages are lightweight and do not require a container.
Graft Architects say that a larger-size SolarKiosk could even produce enough energy to run a telecom tower and a group of kiosks could be connected to form a local grid.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.