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Foroba Yelen

Portable solar lighting for rural villages in Mali, Africa.

Foroba Yelen was a collaboration between staff and students from the Innovation Design Engineering in 2011.

The project investigated how designers can co-design and develop portable, sustainable solar lighting for remote off-grid Malian villages and how this can ultimately assist in an overall national-level strategy for slowing the rural urban migration patterns of West Africa. The project had a positive impact on the local community by enabling sustainable local lighting that helped maintain cultural practices, encouraged enterprise and facilitated education. The lights would be rented out by villagers and profits used to construct new lights designed to use locally sourced materials, construction techniques and components.

Addendum: In the two years following the project, architect Matteo Ferroni has taken the design of the lamps further with the villagers, to great success: Guardian / Treehugger

Materials: Welded and painted steel, LED lights (donated by Phillips) and/or compact fluorescent bulbs (locally sourced), motorcycle battery, PV cells (donated by Sharp and/or locally sourced).

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