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Marjan van Aubel - Nature Needs Heroes


Marjan van Aubel
Solar cell designer for a better world

Jemma Finch x Timberland Sustainability

Marjan van Aubel is a solar designer from the Netherlands who takes solar cells and integrates them into everyday life.

“When people think of solar energy they think of solar panels. But it’s not just things you see on a roof. Solar energy can be more relevant and emotional to become accessible to more people.”

Marjan works with solar cells in unexpected ways. “Roofs can be solar, but so can curtain fabrics, glass, flooring… I would like solar to become so integrated that we don’t even see it.” She hopes to inspire people to rethink how they use energy and move to renewable energy (like wind and solar). “Let’s stop using exhaustible resources. Use sunlight!”

In fact, Marjan’s mission is to integrate solar into everything, so everything can harvest energy efficiently. She imagines a world where energy is generated at every location on its own. “Just looking around, you see sun hitting surfaces everywhere.” Marjan believes these surfaces are opportunities. “I think that if we add design on top of the science, we can use the energy of the sun in many aesthetically pleasing ways.” That’s what makes Marjan’s approach so unique. She takes science and combines it with design. “We take measurable results and combine them with aesthetics.”

Marjan believes anyone can be a hero for nature by simply starting.

“Look at your own personal passions and see how you can make them more sustainable. Small changes can make a big difference.”


Marjan is wearing boots from a collection that is made of responsibly-sourced leathers. It comes in oxford, zip-side ankle boot, and ankle boot styles. The entire collection features a slightly higher, feminine heel. The heels are 7cm/2.75”.