We conceived of the LuminAID light when we were students at architecture school in New York City. A devastating earthquake had just struck Haiti, and we asked ourselves what we could design to help survivors of such an event. When we think of our most basic human needs, we often think of food, water, and shelter. But the stories we were hearing of the dangerous conditions at night in the tent cities inspired us to turn our attention to another critical need: light.
We designed an inflatable solar lantern that could pack flat to be cost-effectively distributed after disasters. The simple, rechargeable lantern is lightweight, easy to use, and serves as a safer alternative to hazardous candles or toxic kerosene for people without stable access to electricity. For ten years, we've worked with humanitarian partners across the world to send LuminAID lights to those who need them most.