There is no shortage of energy on Earth; in fact, there is too much of it. Collected over millions of years and resting in various materials, the energy coming from our nearest star choreographs the movement on our planet to this day. However, due to our consumption patterns and their consequences, we are reaching the point where an overheated atmosphere threatens the future of ecosystems and humanity. Meanwhile, our imaginaries of prosperity are still inertially preoccupied with demanding even more fuel and resources.

How can we overcome our addiction to extractivist energy practices and create new forms of welfare that would shift towards more energy cumulative cultures? By innovatively applying existing technologies and rethinking patterns of behaviour, SOLAR LABORATORY invites us to imagine architectural and design solutions that amplify the potential of solar energy use in our built environment.


The future in contemporary visions is often being colonised by technological complexities that would require even greater amounts of power and resources. Instead of entangling ourselves into power networks and relying completely on supply chains, can we envisage a more independent and resilient future? By combining speculative design tools, making true scale prototypes and rethinking social rituals, the SOLAR LABORATORY workshop will propose alternative scenarios and sustainable infrastructures.

In the first five-day edition of SOLAR LABORATORY in Vilnius, domestic spatial settings and appliances—from showers and hair dryers to coffee machines and ovens—will become our testing ground. While learning and applying the knowledge of optics, we will research and develop domestic objects and rituals. How could taking hot showers, blow-drying hair, making coffee or even baking bread be performed by harnessing, reflecting, concentrating, absorbing and converting direct solar energy?

Transforming ordinary objects to re-power domestic rituals will spark critical reflections on our dependence on conventional energy sources. The laboratory of solar curiosities proposes grounds for discussion to explore sustainable alternatives that would consider our daily domestic rituals and questions of reproductive labour.

SOLAR LABORATORY will include lectures, field trips and design exercises, as well as engagement with a broader audience through public programmes involving film screenings and presentations of the process and results.


Application deadline: Monday, June 10
Results Announcement: Monday, June 17


SOLAR LABORATORY: Tuesday, July 9 – Saturday, July 13

Since the workshop will engage with direct sunlight, the warmest and driest month of the year was chosen for the programme. Having no sun is a possible scenario and should not be perceived as a restriction but rather as part of the beauty of working with the environment.


Over one week, concepts will be developed, experiments conducted, discussions held and prototypes built. The outcomes will be exhibited and demonstrated in a public open-air laboratory on the last day of the programme.

Starting on the morning of July 9, the workshop will offer an intense and diverse five-day programme, finishing on the evening of July 13. After a day of introductions and collective brainstorming, three days of experimentation, tests and construction will follow, with the final day culminating in setting-up the laboratory and the opening of the exhibition.

A diverse series of lectures, discussions and communal meals will be arranged as part of the programme and will provide input for the project, as well as opportunities for informal exchange.


The workshop will take place in Vilnius at SODAS 2123 (Vitebsko St. 23).

Both indoor workshop spaces and adjacent outdoor areas will allow participants to spread their ideas out in experimental setups.


There are 15 spots available. The workshop is designed for students and solar enthusiasts of all creative disciplines roughly between the second year of bachelor’s degree (undergrad) studies and before the diploma or thesis project of master’s degree (graduate) studies. For participation in the workshop, students will be able to receive ECTS credits.

Registration >


Participation in the workshop is free of charge. Organisers will take care of structural materials and regular tools. Accommodation and regular meals are the responsibility of participants; however, organisers will take care of the final solar feast at the end of the laboratory.


The workshop is an international collaboration between the Zurich-based architecture collective inter-, non-profit organisation Architektūros fondas, SODAS 2123 cultural centre and Vilnius Academy of Arts. 

As a team, we will provide learning support and share our knowledge about materials, the solar system and climate consciousness. Our experience from previous solar projects will form a strong foundation and guidelines for the workshop. We will be on-site and reachable throughout the workshop and guide the iterative and instinctive design methodology in close cooperation with the participants. The SOLAR LABORATORY workshop is initiated and led by: inter- (Nicolas König, Lewis Horkulak, Ansgar Stadler), Architektūros fondas (Martynas Germanavičius, Justinas Dūdėnas).

The SOLAR LABORATORY workshop is part of the Architecture Programme of the European architecture platform LINA, co-funded by the European Union. 

The workshop is supported by Vilnius Municipality.