Zola: Reaching beyond the grid
Branding | Industrial Design
Solar Energy | Social Impact
big, bold ideas
Clean, affordable, and reliable solar energy improves education, health, and environmental outcomes. Knowing this, Zola Electric brings solar-powered microgrids to places in Tanzania lacking the infrastructure for reliable grid access. Zola came us to design the Hub, a home solar-charging system to help create this microgrid and provide families with power.
built to last
For many homes using the Hub, it is the most prominent tech product in the household. The design needed to feel balanced – modern, sleek, and tech-forward, but also natural and belonging in a home. Zola also wanted the Hub, their flagship product, to elevate the brand via its practical design and intuitive use.
lighting the way
Enclosed in a thin rectangle, the Hub keeps a clean, low profile on the wall. Inspired by Tanzanian design concepts and construction, a subtle weave pattern breaks up the product’s large surface area. The dark grey color conveys a tech feel, but is also neutral, allowing the Hub to blend into its environment. Simple iconography with LED-powered alerts indicate statuses, such as active charging and battery health.
For further practical use, the rectangles were designed so that multiple Hubs can be stacked together, enabling easy transportation via motorcycle to customer locations. Launched in 2018, the Zola Hub advances Zola Electric’s mission to make distributed, renewable energy accessible to all.