For our final project in Product Design we were put in pairs and asked to come up with a way of harnessing renewable energy that is more acceptable for N.I.M.B.Ys (Not In My Back Yard). These are people who agree with the idea of renewable energy… but don’t want to have it next to their house, or even in there countryside or seas. So where can we put it? Maybe the solution lies in the appearance or the way it works. Well it’s going to have to be. The brief we were given specified the location as the newly proposed V&A site in Dundee.

The solution we came up with was a sort of solar powered tree. The V&A is a museum for design so we thought we should make something aesthetic and sculptural. A tree seemed perfect because it links the technology to nature which is the idea; we’re harnessing energy from the environment. Also, the site sits out on the river Tay so we incorporated a hydro electric turbine and a biometric pressure system underneath which conveniently is hidden from view.

We came up with the name Respire since the way in which our concept harnesses energy has parallels with that of nature. Trees survive through sunlight and from water. Our concept model harnesses energy using solar power and water power beneath the ground. You could even say the mechanics underneath are the roots of our solar powered tree.

Here is what our final concept looks like. We hope you like it!

Special thanks to Lynsey Brownlow for all her hard work. This wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.


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