The Japanese tradition of growing artistically shaped trees created the miniature bonsai. French artist Vivien Muller takes the bonsai concept a step further, creating artistically shaped miniature trees with solar-panel leaves to charge your gadgets.
The Electree is a charging station that juices up mobile devices via USB, powered completely by light. It’s up to the user to position the 27 leaves, or solar panels, in an orientation that optimizes efficiency. The panels rotate freely, allowing the user to create an unlimited number of shapes. Energy produced during the day is stored in a 13,500 milliampere-hour-capacity battery hidden in the base. Mullen explains how he borrowed the design from nature.
“Nature has selected over millions of years the most efficient structures to capture solar energy,” Mullen, a former partner at design agency metz Atelier Design, said. “The trees shape is thus the best mean to take advantage of the solar energy.”
It took Muller three years to take Electree from concept to full-fledged product, with 400 copies on presale until Oct. 15 for €299, or about US$405. He designed the tree to stay indoors, and it is suggested the charging station be placed inside close to a window. The tree measures 40 centimeters tall and also comes with an AC plug.
Do you already feel more relaxed with this bonsai in your office?
Follow @alicetruong on Twitter.