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Energy Pop-Up: A Community-Based Platform for Energy Conversations.

Taking cue from the pop-up retail shops and gourmet food trucks, can we give Energy a cool, hip twist to engage and educate people in public spaces?

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
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The Story:

This idea is motivated by the question: how can we make our relationships with and ideas about energy physical, tangible to the community? 

Taking this literally, my idea is to make energy-related info graphics into beautiful public art installations. This is inspired in part by pop-up clothing store (say, Comme Des Garcons) that sells cool, limited edition fashion items, travelling food trucks that becomes a cultural gem (think Chef the movie), and the BigBarChart - a project in the MIT Media Lab that envisions data physically. The goal is to draw attention to energy concepts through the novelty of art and pop-up culture and inspire - even direct - people to take action as a result.

Update (1/27/15): There's merit in designing the Energy Pop-Up as an energy-aware open space platform that is modular in nature but ultimately serves to increase awareness of renewable energy and bring together in communities closer together through sustainability. With this in mind, the Energy Pop-Up can take many shapes and forms - I can see interactive bar charts (shown in picture, a project of the MIT Media Lab), animating infographics. The key is here to get people up close and curious about their own energy use.

I’ll use the example of the duck curve to illustrate how the installation would be set up. The Duck Curve is a (now-famous) energy demand curve for California that shows the diminishing energy use during the day thanks to growing solar installations. While the idea is much debated, the infographic have permeated the energy culture in academia and industry as evidence of the looming downfall of the grid. Taking this curve, I imagine collaborating with local artists to make a 3-D, life-size replica of the Duck Curve in a parklet in San Francisco, complete with flashy colors and big signs.




Comme Des Garcons pop-up store embodies the 'planned spontaneity' and 'massclusivity' culture. Can we make the same work for information? And energy information at that?

From afar, it would like a piece of art, but up close, I could see museum-style information plaques around the work that can be used to convey local energy news, show results of energy-saving or solar generation efforts nearby and around the world, make petitions available for people to contribute to, and outline simple actions people can do to bring renewables to market. Furthermore, I would create a publicity campaign around the project by encouraging people to share pictures of this new ‘local attraction’ (and use #knowurenergy!). I envision the art as an attraction and an energy information platform.

Update (1/31/15): Accumulating several comments on the actual exhibition of this energy 'art', I understand now that local communities may have a difficult time connecting with and caring about statistics or infographics that represent national energy use. Instead, the Pop-up would take energy consumption information in the local area - including renewable energy statistics and emissions data - that can be traced back to the actions of the community. For example, if the community has a public solar garden, then the Energy Pop-up could compare the real-time emissions reduction level as compared to other neighbouring cities.



The Duck Curve showing decreasing day-time demand due to net metering of solar energy. The Clean Coalition.


UX Map:

Breaking down the user experience roadmap… For this example, our user is Sam, a young, 30-something male living in San Francisco who is well connected to his peers and is energy-aware to a level but not formally educated in the field. He currently rents a one-bedroom in an upscale neighborhood and likes to spend his weekend getting out of the office, for once.

Step 1: The Energy Pop-up buzz
  • Sam is on the way home and checks his Facebook News Feed. He sees a buzz created around the Energy Pop-up online, either through friends sharing the work or from coverage by a leading website like Buzzfeed, i09, or the likes.

  Step 2: Sharing in Social Circle
  • His weekend free, Sam invites a close group of friends to hang out at the space to see what the fuss is all about. Being the well-connected person that he is, his group of friends come from different walks of life and even has a visiting friend from the East Coast.

Step 3: Coolness Factor
  • At the Energy Pop-up, Sam takes pictures with his friends and uses #knowurenergy to share it on social media, thereby propagating the work through his network. It’s something he does to promote keep his status as the cool, hip guy who sets the trend.

Step 4: Learning about Energy and Signs Petition
  • Vaguely curious about the history of the Pop-up, Sam checks out information on the plaques and read about  how solar gardens can save his monthly electricity payments. He sees others signing a petition and is encouraged to do something about this energy debate.

Once the work picks up media attention, the discussion that will hopefully ensue will explain to the casual readers and consumers of news what the Duck Curve is, thereby propagating energy knowledge and even energy actions. In an ideal world, the Energy Pop-up will leverage social networks to propagate energy information in popular media.


Ideas Refinement:

For all the comments and suggestions, thank you! I've filtered through all of your comments and incorporated a few key aspects that I think works in concert with the original goal of creating energy conversations in local communities in the hopes of affecting change in their energy decisions.

  • Pop-up should be temporary - retain that high value and novelty created from scarcity
  • Space should be open to collaboration, with local artists and engineers where appropriate
  • Exhibit should be interactive and provide information on renewable energy
The best move going forward to reimagine this pop-up space as mobile, attention-grabbing, information platform.

I'm thinking about this art piece in SF which embodies the spirit of the local community (Golden Gate Bridge!) but has a recognizable feature (heart-shaped) that can be transported to multiple locations and maintain a uniform message.


Leveraging Suspense to create a Buzz (Updated: 2/5/15)

Taking cue from J.J. Abrams' mystery box, the exhibit would start out its short life-span closed with a small window for passerbys to look through. I call this the e-Cube (another great name for it is EnerCube but that is another fantastic idea on this platform, check it out!).

This cube has plain walls on the side that could provide space for provocative questions (and hashtags!): #knowurenergy #greenisthenewblack or How renewable are you? How do YOU energy? - to get people curious.


... Wanna know what's inside? ... 


The Exhibit: What does a Pop-up Space Look like

In brainstorming what this installation would look like, it's important to keep in mind who we are targeting. NRG Energy's CEO David Crane  wrote a letter to students, a call to action for the next generation of energy leaders to demand cleaner energy. I think this is a wonderful inspiration and students - young talent - is a good audience to engage as they not only could consider careers in energy but also influence peers and parents.

Let's focus on universities and community colleges. There are several key benefits for this:
  • Students are exploring career choices and naturally curious
  • There are many communities with similar characteristics around the country
  • Students - designers and engineers - can take part in running these e-Cube.
A lightweight prototype is currently installed at the Stanford d.school - I wanted to find if people would interact with a passive object on the topic of energy as it relates to their own day-to-day lifestyle.

The key insight from the "Before I die..." installation and from speaking to my peers is that we need to consider if people actually have something to say at all about energy.



WIth the help of a friend, we created this eye-catching pattern and poses the question: how much energy did you use today? The goal is to get people to think about their own energy use - because there is no right or wrong answer, participation is for the users to reflect. 



What's the outcome? Incentives?
Let's see what feedback I get!

The Exhibit: To udpate: 2/6/15 --> experiment postponed to 2/8/15 :(
  • The Call-to-Action: What can we do to get people to take action? 
    • To update: 2/7/14

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

The goal would be to replicate similar installation around different communities, by tailoring the information to what’s relevant to each community. Other than the community members themselves who would visit the public spaces and learn about the ‘energy art’, I hope that the project could benefit local artists as well as local governing bodies who can dissipate the relevant information about local energy use i.e. local utilities.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

The idea for this exhibit is to really bring what’s nebulous and conceptual about energy and their relationship with energy to the physical space that they can interact with and learn from. I believe that we can empower people to take action by providing access to information that they can understand and act on. For example, along with the installation, we can have a plaque with information about how they can help their communities such as signing a live petition or read about local initiatives.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

A big assumption in this idea is that people will voluntarily interact with a public object, just because it is there. I think one meaningful test would be to have a huge sign in a public space indicating some kind of attraction - to see if and how people would react to a public object. Other assumptions to test with the prototype would be how people behave on social media with pieces of public art and whether energy actions or news propagated here would lead to a change - either in thinking or behavior. We would need to figure out what information should be displayed.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I would love to hear feedback from everyone in the OpenIDEO community; what do people think about the idea, how would you interact with such objects, and what would you want to know more? Specifically, I would appreciate input from people with background in urban planning, fine arts, or local governments!

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • My post doesn't mention a specific type of energy

This idea emerged from:

  • An Individual

68 comments

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Comment
Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Thank you to everyone who's been a part of this design process. We really appreciate all the input and time you all spent on this idea :) I'll reach out to you for questions and comments and feel free to reach out to us as we take this idea and play with them offline! Thanks again.
- Paricha & team

Photo of Mark Rush
Team

Paricha,

Congratulations on the development of your work here.

After reading through the prompt question, "How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?" is there a way to demonstrate the longevity and cleanliness of RE resources vs. the corrosive damage of our current energy system's usage and the limited availability? In conjunction with the visual appeal by collaborating with local artists, designers, engineers, et al. to create the pop-up structure could you demonstrate the benefits of RE in a fundamental manner?

For instance, if there was a container of gas or lump of coal being "used" to keep the structure "running" and when it was used up (perhaps a large digital clock with a counting down timer), the structure also was gone. Perhaps only relocated a short distance away only to be "powered up" by a RE source and a new timer counting up?

My apologies if this has been covered: Have you played with the correlation between the idea of a pop-ups and scarcity and energy sources and scarcity?
If you have, I think you are on to a brilliant parallel that hits another layer of what your are trying to teach and express.

Can a pop-up become more than a vessel for collaboration and information by being part of the lesson itself and lead the community towards renewable energy awareness? Perhaps literally?

Keep up your strong dedication because we all are excited to see where you will take your idea!

Photo of Benjamin Kimmich
Team

Hi Paricha,

Great idea! Did you see the concept posted by Rachel? Our company, AVAVA Systems, provides solar powered, pop-up modular structures and we are located in SF.

If you decide you want to do a full size installation somewhere (we could totally do a parking space) we would be glad to help. You would still need artists to convey the visuals but would be glad to supply an 8 ft x12ft 'room' that you could decorate the inside and outside of. It might be nice to have a place where people can come in and sit and really take in your ideas.

You can see our product here:
https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/renewable-energy-modular-housing-smart-communities
(The picture in the top right corner is our traveling prototype.)

Have you thought about trying to get a corporate sponsor for a project like this?

Photo of Rachel Spikula
Team

Great idea. I think your inspirations (pop up shops, food trucks) demonstrate a really relevant way to connect with the public. I agree that to make an greater impact the cube should be some how interactive. I wonder if you can incorporate a civic hacking/public space hacking element to your idea. I like the idea of pairing with local artist but perhaps you can take the experience to a deeper level that adds to the meaning of the space where the cube exists. I love this projec as an example: http://snip.ly/vJea#http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/hacking-public-space-designers-parking-day

Photo of Marc Nyeland
Team

Hi Rachel
Great input - I really like the link at the small parks.

It actually fits very well to one of the ideas.
To show how big a difference you can make when saving energy if you would remember to turn of light at home you are not using, or switching to more environmentally friendly bulbs. This could be shown with two cubes/ or piles of coals illustrating the difference in energy consumption. Different kind of comparisons could then be showcased around the city. If using the parking lots - it could be the difference between types of cars!

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hey Paricha!

I'm posting on behalf of my team from the OpenIDEO meetup tonight about some feedback we have for the idea. 1. Scarcity creates value- to be a true pop up it has to have a disappear fairly quickly and this will create novelty. It will also mirror energy scarcity. 2. It will be important to tailor the style and message of the pop up to the specific community. (e.g university students versus a neighborhood of families) 3. Rewards as an incentive. Most active communities can be rewarded with a permanent popup or hosting the pop up for the rest of the year till the next competition. 4. A neat initiative that PG&E did was they chalked different length lines in front of houses based on their consumption everyday. As households found out their consumption went down.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Natalie! Thanks so much for these feedback. Number 1 really brings me back to reality haha - I definitely needed some reminder of what I started out the idea with. Wish I could be there at the Meetup! (By the way, IDEO-ers, this social pressure/incentive mechanism is totally working).

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Paricha,

LOVE all the updates. I also have all the stickies from last night with people's ideas. I can either take photos or give them to you if you find yourself in SF anytime soon :). Let me know!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Thanks Natalie! Photos of them would be just fine :) I'm emailing you and Marc now with some team updates!

Photo of Matt Renner
Team

I think this is a great idea. Especially if the information expressed can be coupled with tangible actions people can take to make systemic change in the attempt to reach 100% RE. I'm always fascinated by real time graphs and visualization a of power flow and use. It'd be very cool to somehow map flows across a community microgrid in an artistic way, perhaps without labels, so it takes the observer some time to figure out what they're looking at and then intrigue them enough so that they'll engage with the information presented.
This is a great idea for the enrollment process needed for any community-wide RE project. Consciousness change enables behavior change!

Photo of Marc Nyeland
Team

Hi Matt
Thanks for the input and I agree that it would be great with some real time graphs.
In relation to that, it could be great to have a globe, which changes color depending on how much energy is being consumed. During the day it might be light green (could be bright green if very low) and then at night it would likely turn red due to the overconsumption of energy.

Once again thanks for the input.

Photo of Ka Mok
Team

As interesting as an art installation revolving energy efficiency seem, it would be more effective to indicate some sort of metric that is measurable. In your post, you write about linking a call to action to local initiatives. Another words, you're acting as a marketing channel for that initiative, and the featured firm/initiative can measure the number of redirects and possibly compensate your installation accordingly.

I found that this sort of model is already done here in NYC, http://www.greenfestivals.org/nyc, where promotions of technology, local initiatives, and educational installations are constructed.

Perhaps collaboration with Green Festival?

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Ka, you brought up a great point - there needs to be a connection between the local initiatives and the ideas presented here. It's been a recurring them with the contributions for this idea. If I may, what kind of information would you personally care about?

Thanks for sharing the link!

Photo of Ka Mok
Team

Ha. I am a very unique person to ask, as that I only look at the overall impact of a change to a system and have a cynical outlook on the popular opinion on this matter.

Nowadays we hear so much about the possibilities of solar, wind, and other "naturally good" generation methods. We hear very little about the environmental impacts of the COGS it takes to build these infrastructure.

More importantly, when people ask "Why hasn't the gov bought more solar panels?", they don't understand the blunder of heavily investing in a young tech that is only going to get cheaper and more efficient. It's like when a music firm completely transition to cassettes, only to have the CD replace it. Hence, the job of a good administrator and economist is to look at the growth in price, efficiency, and future trends in alternative energy methods and predict a healthy transition to "green energy", rather than going all-in now.

I'm also a heavy believer in nuclear fusion, as almost every major governments in the world invested in projects like ITER. More people need to talk about that, rather than telling the public that wind turbines will power NYC.

Another thing I read that was fun about wind turbines is Bet'z Law. Essentially wind turbines have an upper bound of efficiency that they cannot exceed (59.3%).

Have fun with those.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

I think we've found ourselves an extreme user! haha I think your insight is really meaningful in that you are more aware of this field that the average non-energy enthusiast (Bet'z Law is a nice addition to the repertoire of information, there are also the upper limit to solar PVs but that's irrelevant at the moment).

Also, a great point you made is thinking about infrastructure and nuclear energy - or more in general the need for a more systemic view of renewable energy. Hopefully that's what we will try to convey in this idea --> the need for a more comprehensive information platform. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate the diversity you add to this thread.

Photo of Lacy Clark
Team

Hi! Cool idea! It sounds like a key part of Energy PopUps would be persuasive displays and fun public art. Visualizing energy usage made me think of the artist Chris Jordan, http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/rtn/#light-bulbs. You might be inspired by some of his artwork that captures the sheer magnitude of energy usage. (If you follow the link and then click on the image it animates a little bit.) At some point, I'm sure you'll be thinking about visual artists to partner with.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Lacy,

Thanks so much for sharing - I find as I go through this challenge that there are so many artists/designers that I can learn from and how important they are to the idea. I foresee this Cube being adopted by different communities and passed along from one artist to another - create an airbnb-feel of sharing and passion around energy!

Keep the ideas coming, and let me know if you are interested in taking part :)

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Paricha. Interesting idea. In my experience with the Pop Up concept they seem to pop up for a few days or a week at a time. Is this what you are proposing? I like that your approach is visual and that one learns through discovery! Any ideas for the call to action? It is a great idea - creating an opportunity to directly participate! Can the Pop Up present folk with choices and specific information on "next steps" they can take? How about a sticker or post card to fill in and take home? - "My RE Act ..............." (as a thought starter...) Might be cool to have a large board where folk can write what they commit to, or perhaps what they are doing? or a digital projection in the space - maybe using your Instagram?
(Thinking about this Candy Chang public art piece as inspiration for the board - http://candychang.com/before-i-die-in-nola/)
Good luck!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Loving the suggestion of an interactive component a la Candy Chang. And even better – this is something that could be prototyped really quickly without having to wait for a lot of design input to get something in front of people in order to learn more about how they react and then iterate the idea further. Refinement is time to start trying things out! :^)

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Bettina,
Thanks so much for the link - this super simple to try out and I'm gonna go do that right now :) Will get back to you in 2 days and see what comes of this!
Paricha

Photo of Carles Guerrero Santiago
Team

Hi Paricha, your idea is so inspiring, thanks for sharing!

I have some quick questions, though:

- Who designs and builds the pop-ups?
- How do you fund them?
- How do you envision the "buzz communication"?

Thanks!!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Carles, thank you very much - these are key questions that I am exploring myself! One thing I know for sure is that the design/building of the exhibit would be done by an artist/scientist or engineer pair which can be replicated. I'll use an example to illustrate this in an update!

Photo of Carles Guerrero Santiago
Team

Are you considering local artists? What about "art schools"? Schools? Would you kickstart the projects?

Photo of Alper Yaglioglu
Team

Rocking updates Paricha! I agree with Carles. Art school is a great place that you can quickly find some collaborators. Also, it would be great to see a rough sketch of the exhibit (and the art piece) look like before the Refinement phase ends. I see that it is scheduled for tomorrow so I'll be looking forward to see how it looks like!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making it to the Renewable Energy Challenge Refinement list, Paricha. We’re really excited about your energy pop-up space idea, especially that it has the potential to combine information with communication design in a captivating way and that it uses social media wisely to create a buzz around renewable energy. We also can’t get enough of your user story and the way you’ve gotten into the head of the end user.

Looking ahead to the next 12 days of Refinement our team, along with the 11th Hour Project and the advisory panel, has a few suggestions about how we’d love to see your idea move forward. First, we’re curious how you will initially activate people. What will you use to initially draw people into the space beyond social media? We want to know more about the buzz you’ll create! We’re also curious if you can focus on existing installations that may already be producing energy. Leveraging an existing exhibit could be a powerful pilot. It could also help you discover how to set yourself apart from what currently exists. Do you have thoughts on this already? Lastly, we’d love more specifics around the call the action at the actual pop-up space. What will visitors be called to do and why will they do it?

We can’t wait to see this idea continue to develop. Check out more tips for Refinement on our blog: http://bit.ly/oi-refine and http://ideo.pn/rr-refinetips

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi team! Thank you for the prompts, really needed this :) Going to look over them with some teammates and hopefully we can refine my idea further.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Cool – be sure to check out the tips at http://bit.ly/oi-refine around prototyping. Rather than overthinking what's possible, it could be really beneficial to actually try some aspect of your idea out (even a simple Candy Chang style interaction as suggested above – or check out her other initiatives for more clues on easy-to-try public interactives)

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Meena, thanks for the prod - I really have been overthinking this haha. Will try to get some draft prototype going :)

Photo of Carl
Team

Great idea. But about that duck chart, ugh I mean after strangling and smothering battery technology in its cradle, using patent abuse of IP law, big oil now is attacking renewables because surprise, there's no way to store electricity long term...without batteries. So the duck curve is exactly why we need to accelerate battery development, not curb renewables. Bbbbiiiiigggg distinction. "Over-production" to me really should be "loss due to electricity storage shortage..."

By the way, I would love to help monetize the energy pop up. I have lots of ideas, and methods, I love innovating energy retail, honestly, I do it every day for a living, I'm just hoping to be a business development partner for this awesome idea!

Thanks for pushing it forward :D

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Carl, thanks for your passionate response! It took me a while to realize your position haha. I'd love too have you join the team. Although I'm not looking to monetize this activity per se - but I could really use your input on getting the 'buzz' needed to get people interested (which I think is along the same vein as BD. I think).

Photo of Marc Nyeland
Team

Great idea, I was just about to post a similar one, but I think it is better to combine them.

The focus of my idea was like yours to make it more tangible. My hope and focus is on creating a sense of urgency to change one’s behavior. I am all for developing better ways to create energy and recycle, however we still need to lower our consumption. We might switch to LED light, however, as with many other inventions this simply allows us to use even more but for the “same” price. (There is a term for this, but I can’t remember it, sorry)

So, very often we know what would be the environmental friendly choice, however, we still choose not to do it. There are several reasons for this but one is the lack of sense of urgency. We might not know how much of a difference it makes and therefore we chose the convenient and conventional way or product.
With your idea of a pop-up stand we can inform and create this sense of urgency. Especially if we can incorporate some of the behavioral science approaches explained in Alex Laskey’s great TEDTalk on: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill http://www.ted.com/talks/alex_laskey_how_behavioral_science_can_lower_your_energy_bill#t-474975

In the video there is a great example of how much coal it takes to power a light bulb and that could be used as one example of making it tangible – simply show with a box how much coal could be saved if one would do like their neighbors (this is a reference to the TEDTalk, since what is changing our behavior the most is not monetary incentives, but social pressure that everyone else is doing it)
If the pop-up stand was inside a mall where it is per household it would be great to do the same for the local community with huge boxes taking up several parking spots outside the mall.

I wish you all the best of luck; I think it is great idea and one that we need to make a reality.

Photo of Marc Nyeland
Team

Forgot to say that I love the illustration, just like I imagined it, great work!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Marc, thanks for the insightful comment and explaining your ideas! Firstly though, I should credit the MIT Media Lab for the illustration - it was an example of what this exhibit could look like. I hope to use that as a jumping off point.

I have seen the TED talk by Alex who co-founded Opower and I was struck by the simplicity of his message. I know that Opower is customer-facing but actually makes money from partnering with utility companies by helping their consumers reduce consumption, especially during peak hours. I love the idea of social pressure that you brought up - the visual with coal certain helps (that is probably an exhibition idea that I am looking for!).

Thank you very much for your resourcefulness. I'd love to hear more about your idea - I am going to Google Hangout/Skype with a few people from here soon - developing this further into a more concrete form. Perhaps you can join?

Photo of Marc Nyeland
Team

Hi Paricha
Sounds cool, and great work by MIT Media Lab:-)

I would love to help, my skype name is marcnyeland.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Great! Do you have a Gmail account? I'm thinking of Google Hangout for several team members Wednesday afternoon/night. You can email me at paricha.duang@gmail.com

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Exciting stuff, Paricha! You've really hit on something here injecting the collector into renewable energy. Also this idea from Shane is on a quite different topic: https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/ideas/bottles-for-smiles-one-for-one we thought you might find it inspiring in terms of what he learnt from his prototyping. Could be fun to think more specifically about how you might go about prototyping your idea in order to learn more and strengthen the outcomes. Here's more tips: http://bit.ly/pr0totype We're looking forward to seeing this idea evolve...

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Not to mention that you might find further prototyping inspiration from other switched-on students at Stanford :^) http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/the-electronster/

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Meena, thanks for the support! These contributions are really inspiring and serves as a good template for me to strive towards. I am definitely seeing this idea through at least until I learn more about what ticks :)

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Hopefully you're amped to try something (even something small) out during our Refinement phase.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Paricha,

Congratulations on making the refinement short list! Have you thought more about what your first pop up space would be? Also, I was thinking about your idea and how it might be neat to attract different age groups with different activities. For example, while parents are learning about things they can do around the home (solar gardens etc.) maybe kids can tinker around with DIY solar powered toys. Here are a few of the super cool ones I came across.

http://www.amazon.com/Educational-Solar-Science-Manufacturer-Varies/dp/B007TLFLMA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1422491529&sr=8-5&keywords=solar+powered+toy

http://www.designbuzz.com/quad-planet-friendly-fisher-price-friends-interactive-toys/

http://www.amazon.com/OWI-Frightened-Grasshopper-Powered-OWI-MSK670/dp/B000QX3NYG/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1422491529&sr=8-11&keywords=solar+powered+toy

http://www.browndoggadgets.com/products/solar-cockroach-2-0-kit

Looking forward to hearing more about your first pop up!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Natalie, thank you so much for commenting on the idea (twice!) I'm sorry I didn't respond earlier. I appreciate your feedback, especially on the specific activities and how we can tailor this 'space' for different audiences. I love DIY, hands-on activity as a way of getting people involved, but at the same time, I want this space to remain an open platform for exhibits and information displays (this would be where the art fits in).

A key question that I have to answer here is: what is this space meant to represent? what is its purpose?

I would love discuss further with you about some middle ground and cool ideas. I've been following your work and I'm a big fan! I'll add you to my team and look forward to talking with you more :)

Paricha

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Paricha,

No worries. Have you decided what the space is meant to represent and what it's purpose will be? I might be able to give you some better ideas once you've determined that :). Happy to collaborate and again, congratulations for making the shortlist!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Thanks! I haven't decided, or rather determined, what the space would be most effective as. Currently, I see it the space one that celebrates the arts while informing the public about energy, the temporary nature of the pop-up is pretty key as well to allow for continual flux of ideas, information, action, etc. I wanted to narrow down who is best to interact with as well... oh so many questions haha.

What I don't know is how people would perceive of such as space. In your own work, you've thought extensively about the gadgets and tech that would go into your park and what the purpose of each would be... so I kind of want to hear your thoughts. If you were to pick one gadget and go with it, what would it be? why?

Photo of Natalie Lake
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Hi Paricha,

Okay I think I get the feel you are going for now :). What if we looked at a few of the existing renewable energy art installations for inspiration and to see if any of these are near us so that we can carry out a pilot like the OpenIDEO team suggested (trying to increase awareness and visitorship around an existing piece.)

http://www.lope.ca/artrenewable/

http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/public-art-generates-renewable-energy-beautifully-141006.htm

I think the technology that you would choose would depend on the community you want to pilot in. Have you thought about what community you want to pilot in? You also might be interested in taking a look at Ramiro and I's idea that also made it to refinement, it isn't a pop up space but it definitely mixes art with technology.

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/refinement/the-giving-trees

Looking forward to collaborating!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Natalie, yes I love the Land Art Generator Initiative as well as the idea that you and Ramiro proposed (I believe I put it down as an inspiration! for this one. I've toyed with the idea of piloting either 1) a university on campus where there's already activity and people who are more curious about these issues or 2) a local hip area where people probably expects local exhibits like Hayes Valley. I still need to figure out what the exhibit will actually look like, how to activate people, and what call-to-action could be appropriate.

Let's chat offline? Perhaps Ramiro can join :)

Photo of Natalie Lake
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Hi Paricha,

That sounds great. Send me an email at nataliemarinalake@gmail.com . With my other teams I've been organizing googlevideo hangouts to discuss details of the projects, and then a slack to organize all of the thoughts. Would you be interested in doing these as well? Also I live in Hayes! So if you are in the bay, we could do a non video meetup and meetup face to face! Let me know :) Looking forward to collaborating.

Photo of Jen Sokolove
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Hi, Paricha. It's not a pop up, but it could be worth a look at a public art project in the climate change sea level rise space called High Water Line: http://highwaterline.org.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

This is quite interesting, such a bold move! I love how she generated conversations about climate change in her work while bringing awareness. Thank you very much for sharing.

Photo of Antonia Sohns
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Hi Paricha, really great idea! I was thinking that one of the pop up energy spaces could be housed in a recycled shipping container. Many people are now making them into tiny houses, among other uses, in order to recycle them and live with a smaller footprint. By having a pop up energy space in a re-done shipping container it could stimulate additional sustainable thinking on new ways of living and reusing materials.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Antonia, thanks for the suggestion - recycled materials would be good way to get conversations on sustainability going! I think I'll extrapolate the idea to fit the form of the final exhibit, rather than have a container restrain the purpose of the space - but I sure will keep recycled materials in mind :)

Photo of Michael Kasian
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I like the idea of putting together pop up exhibits to express environmental interests to local communities, especially if we could tie in local schools with developing the exhibits. I think the more central to the community the exhibit is, which includes where the exhibit was made, the more likely locals would be interested to see what their neighbors had put together.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Michael, thanks for the comments! I totally agree with you that there needs to be a local connection to the community. While the duck curve originally serves as an inspiration for the artistic aspect of the installation, the engagement piece can be difficult. Thanks for bringing this up!

Photo of Joanna Spoth
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Paricha, I love the user story you incorporated into your idea - it really makes it come to life! Be sure to keep your idea updated as you incorporate feedback from the community. Exciting stuff!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
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Hi Joanna! I'm back on the platform and ready to roll! The meetup was fun and at least one idea that came out of it made it to the list :D

Photo of Joanna Spoth
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Yes!! So glad you're back in action. :) Can't wait to see where you take this idea.

Photo of Jaime Gusching
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Hi Paricha,

This is a fantastic way for potential customers to interact with environmentally friendly products.

For example, my friend Catlin Powers of OneEarthDesigns, has designed and produced Solsource, a high-performance, solar-powered grill and stove.

Your pop up space could feature guest social entrepreneurs, like Catlin, to demonstrate the product, increase the company's exposure, and take orders from passerby's.

It would be a win-win scenario.

https://www.oneearthdesigns.com/

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Jaime, thanks for your contribution and apologies for the late response! I think it's a fantastic idea to feature guest 'energy' professionals - entrepreneurs like your friend, or other makers - fits really well with the temporary nature of such pop-ups. While I do shy away from having a commercial aspect to this space (but I'm convinced that a revenue stream is necessary! haha), it would be interesting to find out more about the needs of our potential customers.

What do expect to learn? How would they interact with such an exhibit? If you have any insights, I'd be happy to hear more from you :)

Photo of Olivia Nicolaus
Team

Cool idea! Two thoughts to build off of the really solid base you've already established:
1. I wonder if there's a way that one could incite people to take action after they've learned more about energy use. I guess the petition idea covers this in part, but can you think of any specific action steps that people could take? I haven't developed this myself either, but I find sometimes that educational/informative events like this can leave people feeling guilty instead of helping them change their behavior, which is the intention. I'd love to hear more ideas on this!
2. Another thing that I think people could really learn about (besides the duck curve example) is the concept of virtual water. More information here: http://www.angelamorelli.com/water/ but basically it's the concept that it takes a lot of water to produce the meat and products that people consume everyday, and that we need to be aware of that in addition to our daily household consumption with the washer, shower, etc. I've found it's a concept that surprisingly few people know about, which is a shame, but could be an awesome theme for one of the pop-up events!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Olivia!

Thanks for your comments - I apologize I've been away from the platform for so long! I'm glad you brought up how we can encourage users to take action part - because I agree that the reaction that people have can be a feeling of guilt or feeling of inspiration.

My original goal with the petition is to enable people to take action. Another thought I had was to use the pop-art area as an exhibit space which serves as a platform for different energy technologies to be showcased and information (like virtual water) to be disseminated. I'd love to hear more from you!

Thanks for sharing!

Photo of Johan Löfström
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This theme park exists in Stockholm, Sweden: http://www.tomtit.se/english/InEnglish/
Based upon the idea to have simple physics experiment available in "kids - scale" to make them play with, together with their class mates or parents, to bring understanding on how stuff works.

There is also similar demonstration shows in different cities of Sweden, where electricity company have similar simple physics experiments that attract families with curious kids, to visit for a day of playing and learning.

Photo of Alper Yaglioglu
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This is awesome, Paricha! I really like the 'Energy Art' concept as street art is a brilliant way to attract some attention. I also like your insights on how to use social media and 'coolness factor'. Could you contact and maybe partner with local artists to prototype your idea? It would be really cool to see this idea grow.

P.S. If you need help for a quick visualisation of your idea, feel free to contact me.

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Alper, thanks for the support :) I haven't looked into talking to local artists yet, simply because I feel unprepared for such a conversation. I'll surely reach out to you when this idea gets further developed. As a designer yourself, what advice would you give to approaching a rather big, public project such as this?

Photo of Nancy ElHelbawi
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Hi Paricha,

This is a great idea, I think as echoed earlier it would be a great source of face to face interaction and sharing information with people. Also an inspiration place to introduce new products and gadgets that people could try out and use for sustainability. I came across this event and I like their creations http://burningman.org/culture/

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Paricha,

This is a super cool idea that mixes art, culture, education, and renewables! I think making a super interactive exhibit would definitely get people interested and create some buzz. In my idea for this challenge, I suggested a children's park that had children create electricity, pump water etc from typical toys. For example, kids could peddle on a stationary bike to light up a light bulb or seesaw to pump water. There is endless potential for how to convert kinetic energy into electricity. If you like the idea of an interactive exhibit and wanted to collaborate, I would love pan this idea out even more. Let me know!

Photo of Emily O'Hara
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This is pretty incredible Paricha! You have certainly captured multiple entry-points as far as entering people's consciousness with a new way of thinking about renewable energy. Have you ever followed Design Week in Portland? One of the featured exhibits was with a clothing store highlighting waste and its effects (here's the link: http://artifactpdx.com/2014/08/13/artifact-presents-design-week-portland-event/) Perhaps working alongside local design authorities could prove useful. Awesome idea!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Hi Emily, thanks for the suggestion. I am definitely open to the idea of partnering with local designers. I've never heard of the Design Week so thanks for bringing that up. Can you share more about your background and your interests in design?

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Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Paricha Duangtaweesub
Team

Thank you! :)