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Solarpunk: between art and science

From Fiction to Fact:


Solarpunk began life as a science-fiction genre:

16 Best Solarpunk Books – The Best Sci Fi Books

Cyberpunk is over. Solarpunk’s stories helped us grasp climate change. But the hopepunks seek to raise our spirits — THE ALTERNATIVE UK


Although this is not science-fiction:

Gardens by the Bay – Wikipedia

Gardens by the Bay – Supertree Grove (with OCBC Skyway) | Flickr


It is very much an aesthetic movement:

Solarpunk | Aesthetics Wiki | Fandom


From its Manifesto from 2014:

  • The visual aesthetics of Solarpunk are open and evolving. As it stands, it is a mash-up of the following:
    1. 1800s age-of-sail/frontier living (but with more bicycles)
    2. Creative reuse of existing infrastructure (sometimes post-apocalyptic, sometimes present-weird)
    3. Appropriate technology
    4. Art Nouveau
    5. Hayao Miyazaki
    6. Jugaad-style innovation from the non-Western world
    7. High-tech backends with simple, elegant outputs

A Solarpunk Manifesto (English) – ReDes – Regenerative Design


Which shows that Solarpunk addresses how we live through both art and science:

Solarpunk is a movement in speculative fiction, art, fashion and activism that seeks to answer and embody the question “what does a sustainable civilization look like, and how can we get there?” The aesthetics of solarpunk merge the practical with the beautiful, the well-designed with the green and wild, the bright and colorful with the earthy and solid.

Solarpunk can be utopian, just optimistic, or concerned with the struggles en route to a better world — but never dystopian. As our world roils with calamity, we need solutions, not warnings. Solutions to live comfortably without fossil fuels, to equitably manage scarcity and share abundance, to be kinder to each other and to the planet we share.

At once a vision of the future, a thoughtful provocation, and an achievable lifestyle.

SOLARPUNK : A REFERENCE GUIDE. The below was compiled by… | by Jay Springett | Solarpunks | Medium

Art, Energy and Technology: the Solarpunk Movement


From Art to Science… and back again:


Here’s an interesting question on a Reddit thread from a couple of years ago – with a few more ideas to follow:

I am a 19M CS Major in university right now. I absolutely love the idea of solarpunk but I’m not an environmental engineer, or a sustainable energy engineer, I don’t build buildings or plant crops, etc. What role do I play in making a sustainable future? What role does CS play? Things like A.I.? Thanks for the responses, I am trying to learn!

What role does a computer science major play in a solarpunk world? : solarpunk


And here’s a set of brilliant visual ideas – just click on the link:

Dustin Jacobus is a Belgian illustrator, interested in biomimicry, sustainable design and futurism. In the art-research project Universitas, he combines these themes and creates a futuristic world in which a fictional researcher H. Bottlefield, explores eight solarpunk cities. Jacobus graduated as an industrial designer and started his career as a technical illustrator and 3D CAD designer. He combines his artwork with a job as an educational expert in drinking water.

Universitas Solarpunk – Interalia MagazineInteralia Magazine


With more inspiration from an up-and-running bit of design:

The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, that contains an exceptional large variety of interconnected eco-regions with a high degree of biodiversity is a biodiversity hotspot and was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1997.

Tonle Sap Lake K – Chong Kneas the floating village – Budd… | Flickr


Including just down the road:

Architecture of the Eden Project, Cornwall

Solar Punk, a framework for hopeful futures by Jacobo García | CLOT Magazine

The Domes – How the Eden Project Works | HowStuffWorks

The Eden Project Built a Rainforest Ecosystem Inside Buckminster Fuller-Inspired Geodesic Domes | Open Culture


A great place for art and science to meet has been in competitions:

Solarpunk 2019 Art Competition | Atomhawk – We bring ideas to life


And finally, there are several projects bringing it all together – including this from 2019:

The ongoing program “Solar Punk Futures” [is] an initiative of Ellery Studio Berlin that brings together scientists, researchers, and visual thinkers to examine the energy transition from a Solarpunk perspective. It asks how we can let go of dystopian scenarios and, instead, envision a carbon-free future, and the new forms of social organization that decarbonization will engender.

Solarpunk is a literary and visual movement that originated in Brazil in the early 2000s. It rejects dystopian pessimism and puts forward images of renewable-powered utopias that challenge us to alter our social habits. Ellery Studio is working with several educational and nonprofit organizations to use Solarpunk as a jumpoff point to break down climate policy and model desirable futures with novel visual tools. This article asks how a largely aesthetic movement can achieve transformative power? And how speculative design processes might move beyond “visioning” to transition organizations and communities.

Putting the Brakes on Dystopia: Speculative Design, Solarpunk, and Visual Tools for Positing Positive Futures – Ecología Política