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Design Icon: Mathieu Lehanneur’s Street Lights in Paris
Paris is best known for the croissants, the Eiffel Tower and its beautiful architecture. But that’s not all that defines the city. There are many design icons that we all automatically link to the french capital, but they don’t always come to our minds. Think about the metro station entrances or the wrought iron balconies, for example. And there’s more: Mathieu Lehanneur’s street lights!
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has created a tree-like street lamp with accompanying twig-shaped seating for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference and it fast became one of the city’s icons.
It’s called ‘clover’ – an urban lighting furniture collection, for relaxing and recharging. The design mixes energy, functions and materials by combining lamps and seating, with wood and solar panels.
Installed in Paris during COP21 – the united nations conference on climate change 2015, each is carved from a wooden mast. The street lamp and bench have the appearance of being cut and polished by hands of a craftsman but Lehanneur in fact, digitally machined them using an industrial process that employed many different wood species from nearby regions.
At the top the of ‘clovers’ are fixed aluminum domes that distribute luminosity directly downwards from the LEDs to keep light pollution to a minimum and maximize energy efficiency. The dome facing upwards houses the solar panels that power the street lamps for three hours.
A small hatch at street level allows pedestrians to charge their smartphones. The lighting collection is adaptable for an assortment of different areas and configurations – the bench can stretch over 15 meters long. With ‘clover’, Mathieu Lehanneur shows that design has the ability to combine nature and technology to forge harmony in an urban landscape.