Design Guidelines for Solarpunk Projects

Elements of successful solarpunk projects

Follow Pete Seeger's advice as much as you can:

If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.

Select components that are common or sourced in bulk

Common or bulk materials means lots of supply, which means low cost and high availability. Don't force builders to search out substitutes.

Parameterize designs

Parameterized designs allow to be flexible and adaptable

Keep designs modular

Modular designs are easy to repair and remix. Damaged components can be easily swapped out or repaired

Keep failure-prone or high-wear components accessible

So they are easy to service. Prefer low-wear and low-failure prone components, materials and designs.

Avoid extraneous components

The most reliable component is one that doesn't exist.

Designs should be implementable

Designs should be implementable without having to remake the earth or having to learn an entire field of study. If you do ask your user or builder to learn something, make it something high-value.

Prefer designs that help users develop useful conceptual models

A conceptual model is an explanation, usually simplified, of how something works. Completeness or accuracy is less important than usefulness.