86 - Catalina Lotero: Natural by design

June 9th 2020

Together with a multidisciplinary team, Catalina Lotero is tackling the global energy crisis with a surprisingly simple, plant-based idea. The Colombian-born American, who studied industrial design in Bogotá, Colombia, and is currently doing her Masters in design at Keio University in Tokyo, came up with the sustainable solution to solve a pressing problem. One in eight people worldwide does not have access to electricity, with 84% of them living in rural areas. Lotero’s ‘Raiki’ – essentially an autonomous generator – is sure to be a game-changing project. 

This conversation was one of the inspiring interactions I had at Design Indaba earlier this year. Catalina and I discussed how her ground breaking research works, the creative process, some of the larger issues facing us as humanity and a one of my biggest take aways was that some of the things we are doing to try and solve our problems might be creating even more. We also explored the concept of soft power where we can accept mistakes, be ok with being wrong and take a collaborative approach to solving problems. Enjoy this fat dose of inspiration.