Solar charging music lovers with creative designs

Festival-goers at the upcoming WOMADelaide event will be able to charge their phones with solar power thanks to a team of UniSA design and engineering students.

The creative team of hard-working students have created a range of sustainable décor for a WOMADelaide marquee including wooden tables and chairs, a solar phone charging station, plastic bottle chandeliers and a fence structure that fit with WOMADelaide’s environmentally-sustainable ethos.

(L-R) Finn Woodhouse and Peter Schumacher with a prototype of one their designs.(L-R) Finn Woodhouse and Peter Schumacher with a prototype of one their designs.

For Graduate Diploma of Design (Industrial Design) student, Finn Woodhouse, the project has provided him with the experience of undertaking a project for a professional client.

“It’s a great feeling to know that this will actually be deployed at WOMADelaide,” Finn says.

“The project has been very hands-on with a lot of prototyping being done at the University’s workshop.

“We have worked together to create a cohesive environment with our designs all working well together and we have used angles that were influenced by the architecture of the Jeffrey Smart Building.

“Working with course-mate Alec Tavener with some help from our lecturer Peter Schumacher, we have developed a fence-like structure to enclose the space, as well as a solar charging phone station which will serve as the major attraction.

“Harry Dinnen meanwhile has worked on furniture to fit within the space, with his designs closely following the aesthetic and design of the fences and solar charging station.

“Luke Johnson has developed a chandelier made from plastic bottles that will hang within the umbrellas to help illuminate the space at night.

“It’s been a great experience and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Overseeing the project, Program Director of Product Design, Dr Peter Schumacher, commended the students on their commitment to the project and for their innovative designs that meet WOMADelaide’s strong sustainability criteria.

Dr Schumacher says that sustainability has become a standard part of industrial design practice.

“Sustainability used to be something that designers opted in or out of but it’s getting to the point where it’s just becoming party of practice,” he says.

“For this particular project, we had a real focus on using materials that would otherwise have been put into waste; using recycled ply and rope, as well as creating chandeliers from plastic bottles.”

UniSA is also involved with WOMADelaide by sponsoring the Planet Talks series at the festival which brings together local, national and international speakers to discuss our sustainable relationship with the planet. Included in this year’s event is Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki and award winning physicist and UniSA's own Professor Tanya Monro. The full schedule of speakers is now available.

UniSA students, staff and alumni can also purchase discounted tickets to WOMADelaide, being held from March 11-14. See our WOMADelaide page for more details.