van Aubel

An award-winning innovative solar design practice that brings solar energy into daily life.

The studio is creating lasting change through solar design, integrating solar power seamlessly into our environments such as in buildings and objects.

Most notable works are the Solar Roof of Netherlands Pavilion at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, Sunne, Current Table and Power Plant.


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As much as 50-80% of timber is wasted during normal manufacture. Together with designer James Shaw, Marjan van Aubel discovered that a curious chemical reaction occurs when mixing timber waste with bio-resin: It expands into a strong, foam-like material almost twice its size.

Using a variety of different sized shavings collected from workshop floors and mixing with coloured dye, they were able to create a colourful, lightweight and moldable material that is reinforced by the fibres in the hardwood shavings. In Well Proven Chair, the mixture expands around the leg structure, leaving behind evidence of its exuberant material behaviour once it sets.

Well Proven Chair

Foaming Wood

In collaboration with  James Shaw, American Hard Wood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture

Part of the permanent collection at Vitra Design Museum, Montreal Museum of Art, National Gallery of Victoria in Australia and MoMA New York.

Winner of the ARC13 chair award and nominated for Design of the Year Award 2013.


Stools sold via: Transnatural


Solar Futures

The Solar Biennale

Studio Dialogue 3

Studio Dialogue 2

Studio Dialogue 1

Solar Democracy

Studio film Nieuwe Instituut


Foam China

Foaming expanding porcelain.

Foaming volcanic rock

This is an impression of a research trip to the island of Stromboli by James Shaw and Marjan van Aubel.