Apr 16, 2012

Press Release

Panasonic Presents ‘Photosynthesis’ Concept in Milan

In its fifth participation in the Milan exhibition, Panasonic presents a sustainable energy solution on the concept of "Photosynthesis"

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today opened the doors to its “Photosynthesis” concept installation, showcasing its total solutions for creating, saving, storing and managing energy during the course of the Milano Salone del Mobile 2012, one of the largest and most influential design expos in the world, held annually in Milan, Italy.

As environmental issues, such as dwindling resources, grow ever more severe, the shift to a sustainable society is becoming a common issue. Panasonic brings its long years of research and development to the cause of creating, storing and efficiently utilizing renewable energy to reduce our impact on the environment by offering a lifestyle that combines both comfort and eco-friendliness through the development of eco-conscious technology.

At this year's exhibition, Panasonic is presenting an energy cycle, comparing it to an ecological cycle that begins with photosynthesis, starting with energy creation (through solar panels), and continuing to energy storage (through storage batteries) and energy saving (through LED and organic LED lights), with each stage of the cycle being controlled by an energy management system. The installation, which is the first outdoor exhibit for Panasonic, was designed by noted young architect Akihisa Hirata, whose organic vision of living, breathing architecture reflects the open yet interdependent symbiotic cycles in nature.

"Photosynthesis is an ecosystem in miniature," says Hirata, "The image of a manmade future in harmony with the natural order, of buildings and cities as truly part of the biosphere." Panasonic promises to be part of that future.

■The special site of Milano Salone del Mobile 2012


■ Installation Image

[day] [night]

■ Major Exhibits

(1)Bifacial photovoltaic module “HIT Double”

By sandwiching HIT photovoltaic cells front-to-back between layers of glass, their symmetrical structure allows the generation of electricity on both sides, giving a higher power output than regular one-sided modules. (On sale since January, 2006 in North America and Europe)

(2)Storage battery system using lithium-ion batteries

Not just for back-up in case of blackouts but as an effective means of reducing peak energy usage and ensuring a stable energy supply from the fluctuating natural energy sources. This 18kWh system is designed for shops and offices and can be augmented with additional battery units. (Prototype)

(3)LED lamp Clear Type

Panasonic's unique floated-module LED on a translucent base delivers a warm glow similar to clear incandescent bulbs. As bright as a 20W incandescent bulb but with a power consumption of only 4.4W.
(20W LED Clear Type on sale in Europe and Asia since July, 2011 and in Japan since October, 2011)

(4)OLED lighting panel

This next-generation light source promises unprecedented applications for uniform surface lighting in any desired luminosity and colour rendition.
(On sale since September, 2011 in Japan, Europe and America)

(5)OLED lighting module

High rendition (overRa90) and luminosity (3000cd/m2) OLED in Panasonic's own “slide-in” panel. Easy to install in ultra-thin equipment applications. (9mm thick, frame 11mm)
(On sale since December, 2011 in Japan, Europe and America)

(6)“LUGA" shop LED module

This compact 50mm light engine fuses line dispensing technology on a ceramic base to deliver beautifully sharp shadows and light with an incredible 106lm/W efficiency and 50,000 hour product life.
(For sale from April, 2012 in Europe, then throughout other IEC regions)

(7)Variable-colour LED unit

LED unit with synchronized, variable brightness and hue, reproducing the full colour curve.
2000K-2700K: both brightness and hue variable.
2700K-5000K: level brightness, variable hue.
(Not sold as individual devices; fixtures with these units available in Japan since November, 2011)

(8)Prototypes of new wiring devices

Panasonic's touch/push switches allow the intuitive adjustment of lighting levels with sensor and dimmer functions as well as wireless handset connectivity over long distances.
(Projected sales from 2014 in Japan and elsewhere in Asia)

■The 'Future Craft' Design Philosophy
From 2012, Panasonic will adopt the 'Future Craft' design philosophy, consistent across all the designs of their products, furthering their global design development. For this exhibition, Panasonic will be introducing the design of the LED lamp Clear Type and Prototypes of New Wiring Devices as actual examples of the design philosophy and to show the 'Future Craft' way of thinking.
Design Website: http://panasonic.net/design/

■ About the Panasonic Installation

Exhibit concept “Photosynthesis”
Viewing times
Mon 16 - Sun 22 April 09:00 - 24:00  
(Attendants on site
11:00 - 21:00 )
Mon 23 - Sat 28 April 09:00 - 21:00  
*Salone del Mobile runs from 17 - 22 April, however the INTERNI LEGACY installation opens from 16 - 28 April
Press preview Mon 16 April, h.14:30
Reception Tue 17 April, h.20:00
Università degli Studi di Milano: Cortile Farmacia
Via Festa del Perdono, 7
(Exhibition floor space: approx.1,000m2)
Designer Akihisa Hirata (Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office)

■ About the Design Concept (Akihisa Hirata, Architect of the Installation)

The “photosynthesis” concept was inspired by the relationship of leaves to fruit to flowers within a single tree. It bespeaks an interdependent, cyclical ecosystem in miniature, an order made possible by the light pouring down from the sun, representing a manmade future in harmony with that order, a new image of buildings and cities that truly form part of the biosphere. Here I wanted to create a space where one might experience such interrelationship all at once using the entire expanse of the historic courtyard and the columned gallery around it.

■ Installation Designer

Akihisa Hirata

Born in Osaka 1971. Masters in Engineering from Kyoto University in 1997. Worked for Toyo Ito & Associates, then started Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office in 2005. Awards include the 2004 SD Review Asakura Award for House H, 2007 Japan Institute of Architects New Face Award for Masuya Showroom, ELLE DECO Young Japanese Design Talent 2009 for animated knot, and 2nd place in the 2011 Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Popular Music Center International
Competition. Chosen to exhibit in the Japan Pavilion at the 2012
Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition. Sees architecture as weaving "rooms to entangle" within its surroundings to emulate life and vitally engage our physical nature. Active both in Japan and abroad, his writings include Akihisa Hirata Tangling:(Contemporary Architect Concept Series 8, INAX Press, 2011).

■ About the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano

The annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, to be held for the 51st time this April, is the largest and perhaps most influential design expo in the world. The Salone, which comprises a main Fiera space and Fuori Salone installations throughout the city, is a global showcase not only of designer talent but also in recent years a launch pad for major brand product lines.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/

Media Contacts:

Global Public Relations Office
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: 03-6403-3040 Fax: 03-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205 Fax: 03-3542-9018
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