solar mobile

solar mobile by Jan WertelGernot Oberfell from germany

designer's own words:

The Solar Mobile playfully and gently displays two aspects of motion - movement and energy.

The movement of the mobile is a subtle but direct reaction to its environment, be it the airflow of passers-by, or the ascending warmth of people standing near it.
The embedded solar panels are ideally lit by sunlight through a window or skylight, and directly send the generated electricity to a grid of LEDs, with the number of lit LEDs depending on the amount of energy generated. The display of seemingly random illumination shows the importance of motion relative to time and postion.

Solar Mobile


The viewers influence the motion of the mobile.


121204 WertelOberfell SolarMobile animation from Jan Wertel on Vimeo.



Depending on the amount of light hitting the solar cells the number of LEDs lit up changes.


Null position.


Petals are shaped like propellers to better translate moving air into motion.


    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    shortlisted entries

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    490,136 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample