Solaesthetic (Sol-es-thé-tik) is a creative and positive response to environmental necessities and to the opportunities that are generated by these necessities.
Solaesthetic is based on ideas and inventions that Dan Hughes-McGrail has been patiently developing over the last seven years. The intention is to make the world a better place by producing renewable energy options that are beautiful and in sympathy with architecture and in harmony with the local ecology. We will overcome the raw functionalism that dominates the renewable energy market by providing aesthetically diverse alternatives. Critically, our approach treats aesthetic function as equivalent to utility function. Our focus is micro generation and localised energy production at the domestic and neighbourhood scales.
For Solaesthetic, beauty and aesthetic impact are fully part of and installations sustainability function. People are the power that shapes the world. So to be truly sustainable, renewable energy systems must be designed so that people will really want them in their world. People love beautiful things, and they will invest in, and maintain beautiful things for the long-term. This concept is critical to creating the things that will become part our ecologically sustainable heritage.
The business will consist of two interdependent branches of activity. One branch is a design and installation practice, that specialises in producing beautiful, site specific, renewable energy installations. A practice engaged the design and project management of installations. The other activity is a Research and Product Design practice that invents and designs the devices and components needed to build the installations, but which will also work to create discrete products for licensed manufacture by third-party companies.
Our designs will be made in line with the Solaesthetic Ethos, a design philosophy developed by Dan Hughes-McGrail, which is an ecologically informed set of principles, whose purpose is to guide the innovation process and hold it to clear sustainability objectives.
Dan says “We want to make things that people want to live with for generations. To make them sustainable, we need to create the desire to maintain and sustain them – love them even. We can achieve this by appealing to the aesthetic instincts that motivate us to preserve and cherish beautiful artworks and old architecture. We can make things really well, that are highly durable, and built to be maintained indefinitely. We also need to create things that can carry meaning for people in the way that artwork can. By producing beautiful alternatives we can bring renewable technologies closer to people’s hearts and create a high value desire-led market”
In preparation for the start up Dan has selected four of his inventions that are the technically simplest of his ideas which will be the simplest to bring to market. Take a look. The Fluent Column and Solopticon devices are the most developed, having been taken through prototype phases. Vapour Stack and Genius Foci still need work to bring them on, but the work needed is relatively straightforward.