Solar Phone Booth / Beth Ferguson & Dallas Swindle

Commissioned by ZERO1 and the San Jose Public Art Program with support from National Endowment for the Arts and an in-kind donation from Armageddon Energy

According to the city’s official website, San Jose boasts an average of more than 300 sunny days per year. So why don’t we see more solar panels designed into our urban spaces? Sol Design Lab’s solar charging stations announce the arrival of practical renewable energy and rechargeable mobility for future green cities and campuses. Their Solar Pump Charging Station was a popular installation at the 2010 ZERO1 Biennial, so for this Biennial they used the same smart design to re-imagine urban space by converting an abandoned payphone into a shady resting place with a utilitarian purpose. Located in the newly redesigned Gore Park in downtown San Jose’s SoFA District, the Solar Phone Booth (2012) uses a hexagonal solar panel from local company Armageddon Energy to power outlets and phone chargers for the public to charge their mobile electronics. Sol Design Lab’s installation serves as an educational gathering place where people can charge their e-bicycles and cell phones while lounging in the shade of the solar roof on furniture made from up-cycled materials.

On view in Gore Park, downtown San Jose
September 12 - December 8, 2012
Free and open to the public

Beth Ferguson & Dallas Swindle

live and work in San Francisco, CA

Artist website


Beth Ferguson is an ecological designer, public artist, and founding director of Sol Design Lab. She has worked with industrial designer Dallas Swindle to help thousands experience the power of solar energy with their iconic solar charging stations on the streets of San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, and at SXSW, Coachella, and festivals across the U.S.