Marjan van Aubel (born 1985, the Netherlands) is an award-winning solar designer whose innovative practice spans the fields of sustainability, design and technology. In collaboration with scientists, engineers and institutions such as Swarovski and the ECN, the Dutch Energy Centre, van Aubel works to promote extreme energy efficiency through intelligent design. Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2012 and the Rietveld Academy DesignLAB in 2009, van Aubel has since exhibited at world-class institutions such as the V&A (London), the Design Museum (London) and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). Her work is also part of the permanent collection at the MoMA in New York, the Vitra Design Museum, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, The Montreal Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia. In 2017, Swarovski named Marjan the Designer of the Future, and in 2016 she received WIRED’s Innovation Award, the Wallpaper Design Award and was chosen to be the Radicale Vernieuwer (Radical Pioneer) Netherlands by Neelie Kroes. She received the London Design festival Emerging Talent medal in 2015 and in 2012 she won the First Prize Dutch Material Award. Marjan van Aubel is also the founder of award-winning sustainable design collective, Caventou and currently teaches at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
In order to grow adaptation and acceptation of solar energy, solar cells needs to become accessible. Using the power of Design, solar cells can be integrated much more seamlessly into our environment. The energy transition needs to come from different angles, perspectives and industries to make this change happen. By collaborating on different levels and scales. And by turning surfaces and everyday objects into independent power sources, solar cells can be applied into our environment.
Solar Designer Marjan van Aubel sees every surface as an opportunity to harvest energy. In her work she searches for extreme efficiency: she adds double functions to objects and puts them to work. A table is not only a table anymore but also becomes an energy source. She works with solar cells that use the property of color to turn sunlight into electricity, mimicking the process of photosynthesis. Her aim is to make solar technology accessible and desirable; generating electricity at the place you directly need it.