Ecosistema Urbano, the firm of Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo (both design critics in urban planning and design), just won the Silver Award of the Taipei International Design Award 2013 in the Public Space Design category .
Ecosistema’s “Energy carousel” is an unconventional playful structure consisting of a tensegrity structure formed with ropes and textiles. Its aims encompass education and sustainability. The kinetic energy released by children’s movement on the carousel is stored in a battery and supplied later to generate lighting in the evenings. Producing electrical power through physical activity sends a subtle message about the potential for creativity and a more sustainable approach to urbanism.
The carousel’s design uses uniquely efficient materials, and the mechanism of energy production and lightning is as simple as a bike dynamo. The color of the lights reflects how much energy has been generated by the children on any particular day.