Marjan van Aubel (Caventou)
Award: July's Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future AwardCaventou designs household objects to function as solar-power generators.
The company is named after Joseph Caventou, who co-discovered the biomolecule Chlorophyll used by plants to absorb energy from light. The dye-sensitised solar cells used by Caventou enable objects such as tables to harvest energy from indirect sunlight and store it.
Caventou’s first product, the Current Table, provides an energy source for personal devices. The entire surface of the Current Table is made of the dye-sensitised solar cells which, unlike traditional PV cells, operate efficiently under diffused sunlight. This makes Current Table the first piece of furniture capable of harvesting energy indoors.
Winner of a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award, Caventou is developing a sensor that is integrated into the table to make it a smart object, which reads information on its environment, such as light intensity, and shares this back to the user.
Caventou has also developed a second product called Current Window, which is a combination of stained glass and solar cells that have USB ports in the ledges for charging devices. An earlier project involved a cabinet that also used the cells within glass panels. This innovation resulted in objects having both a practical and energy-producing function. With the advancement in solar technology, it is expected an increasing number of objects will be able to harvest and store energy in the future.
Caventou was founded by Marjan van Aubel in 2015, an award-winning designer of materials and objects whose work spans science and design.
Marjan van Aubel of Caventou.
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Elevator Pitch Video
You can watch Caventou's elevator pitch video again in the video player in the top right-hand corner of this page.