City: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Created By: Mikhail Belyaev
Keen urban observers will notice that lamp posts have begun to wear accessories. Small antennas, diodes, and other sensor components are being fixed to the tall street structures to provide the city with an array of data monitoring traffic flow, air quality, light levels, and more. The multi-tasking infrastructure tells the city what is going on and what needs to be done to respond to the city’s needs.
If a lamppost can be fit with a sensor to measure and report data for the needs of the city, could the lamppost also do something more practically to benefit the city’s residents? Maybe turn into an umbrella when it is raining so people caught outside can find a place to stay dry?
Lampbrella was designed by Mikhail Belyaev to do just that. The Lampbrella contains a sensor that activates and unfolds an umbrella the moment it senses rain. Its broad diametre can shelter several people from the rain or provide a cozy moment of cover for a couple wanting their own space in the atmosphere of a rainy city.
The moment of inspiration, says Belyaev, was no more complex than seeing the way a lamp post currently functioned in the city, and thinking it could do more. “Once, I was driving on a central Saint Petersburg street,” he says, “and saw the street lamps illuminating people trying to hide from the rain.” Instead of highlighting those getting soaked, he said, he envisioned a way that the lamp post could provide shelter.
In addition to the rain sensor, there is a motion detector that can tell whether anyone is using the Lampbrella and will close it if no one is underneath or nearby and in need of cover.