SPACE10's miniature wooden village combines the potential of solar panels and blockchain

SPACE10's miniature wooden village combines the potential of solar panels and blockchain

SPACE10IKEA’s copenhagen-based research and design laboratory — has unveiled ‘SolarVille’, an installation that showcases how we can democratize access to clean, renewable energy. the ‘playful research’ project highlights the advantages of combining technologies such as solar panels and blockchain to make clean energy affordable and accessible. by bringing the vision and concept into physical reality, a town built to a 1:50 scale, the design team hopes to advance progress in the field, accelerating the adoption of new technologies.

space10 solarville
all images by irina boersma



SPACE10 developed SolarVille alongside blockchain experts BLOC, blocktech, and WeMoveIdeas india, while architecture practice SachsNottveit designed the neighborhood itself. the miniature wooden village is a working prototype, wherein some households generate their own renewable energy using solar panels to capture the rays of an artificial sun extended above the installation. other households automatically purchase the excess electricity generated in the community directly from the producer using blockchain technology.

space10 solarville



although the concept is ambitious, the design team says that SolarVille is a fully realizable concept for the future. the vision is to democratize access to renewable energy by creating cooperative micro-grids in local communities that enable homeowners to become makers and traders of clean energy. at the same time, neighbors can automatically purchase the excess electricity generated in their community.

space10 solarville



the flow of energy is visualized through small LED lights embedded in the model, showing the energy traded within the community in real-time. meanwhile, a hatch on the side of the table enables exhibition visitors to take a look at the real-time energy transactions taking place in the underlying blockchain technology. this allows visitors to observe and interact with a functioning and scalable system of energy resources being traded in a peer-to-peer blockchain network in real-time. in SolarVille, people buy renewable energy from their own community, which means the money stays in their neighborhood.

space10 solarville



‘centralized energy systems are often too slow and economically inadequate to reach the billion people who remain locked in energy poverty,’ says bas van de poel, creative director, SPACE10. ‘SolarVille showcases that, when working in tandem, technologies such as solar panels, micro-grids and blockchain open new opportunities: off-grid systems allowing people to leapfrog traditional grid electricity.’

space10 solarville



‘at IKEA, we are curious and always looking for innovative ideas that can help more people live a better life within the limits of the planet,’ adds torbjörn lööf, CEO of inter IKEA group. ‘the IKEA funded research and design lab SPACE10 gives us new perspectives, discovering new opportunities within many different areas. it will be very interesting to learn how this combination of new technology and solar energy solutions can make lives better for the many people.’

space10 solarville



the unveiling of this prototype coincides with the release of a report titled ‘a brighter tomorrow: solar power and its importance to the world’s energy future’, which lends more insight into the research behind SolarVille. the report, which can be read here, outlines how the declining cost of solar energy presents a powerful decarbonization pathway for the planet. SPACE10 recently unveiled their renovated headquarters, which can be seen on designboom here.

space10 solarvillespace10 solarville

space10 solarville



project info:


name: SolarVille
created by:
SPACE10, blockchain labs for open collaboration (BLOC), WeMoveIdeas india, blocktech, SachsNottveit


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