Austin, Texas-based Sol Design Lab hits the street and brings people together with projects that combine art and sustainability.


The coolest (or hottest*, rather) project coming out of Sol Design Lab is the SolarPump Charging Station, a solar-powered charging station for cell phones, electric bikes, scooters, and laptops.

*ugh, sorry for the bad pun.  I can't help myself sometimes.

Made mostly from recycled materials like reclaimed gas pumps, the SolarPump Charging Station also has a seating area, designed to inspire conversation about energy consumption, solar power, and electric vehicles.

The SolarPump Charging Station was first introduced at SXSW Eco 2010, and since then has appeared at festivals, conference centers, and universities around the world.

The general goal of Sol Design Lab is to engage and educate people sustainable systems.  And seriously, what better way to do it than by bringing well-designed art technology to public spaces-- kind of like the BigBelly Solar Litter Critters in Philadelphia.

I found out about Sol Design Lab after reading through the schedule of talks at SXSW Eco 2011 and discovering Beth Ferguson, the founding director of Sol Design Lab.  Beth and her CAD-expert partner Dallas Swindle seem like an awesome pair for leading awesome projects.

I'm super inspired.

Check out this fun video showing the charging station in action.