Lots of men give their wives flowers on their birthday, but those flowers aren’t usually comprised of solar cells. Acclaimed film director James Cameron gifted his wife Suzy Amis Cameron a ‘bouquet’ of five great big photovoltaic Sun Flowers on the grounds of the MUSE School, which she co-founded in southern California. The flowers, which Cameron designed over the course of three years, represent a step forward for the school, which was founded with a mission of sustainability.
We’ve written about the MUSE School before and it is recognized as a nurturer of environmentally responsible education. The Sun Flowers debuted during the weekend in conjunction with the school’s annual gala, and Cameron remarked during the ceremony on the importance of showing children how important “our relationship with the planet” is. “I thought we should try to do something that inspires because this is about kids,” he said at the ceremony. “Once you capture their imagination and empower them, they can do anything.”
Cameron really impressed his wife with his gift, apparently. “My incredible husband really knows how to give a girl a bouquet of flowers,” Suzy Amis-Cameron said during the unveiling ceremony. The Oscar-winning movie mogul designed the Sun Flower arrays himself, and rather cleverly so. With their 14 solar panel “petals,” the flowers are obviously a whimsical addition to the schoolgrounds, as well as a practical one. Interestingly, the Sun Flowers are designed to move with the sun—much like actual flowers do—thereby capturing the maximum amount of solar power available each day. The solar-powered garden will offset the site’s power usage between 75% and 90%, depending on available daylight at the campus.
In addition to greening the Muse School and making a sweet gesture for his bride, Cameron is making his Sun Flower designs open source, and publishing the plans online so that anyone so inclined can build their own “functional art pieces” and harness a little sun power for their own devices.
Images via Stefanie Keenan, courtesy of MUSE School CA and MUSE School/Facebook.