2022 | Design : Izumi Yano
Scope : Thesis project | Dueration : 8 month (2022/4-2023/12) | Tools : Illustrator / Fresco

In many parts of the world, there are still areas with unstable electricity supply, making it difficult for children to study after sunset. This situation contributes to a decline in enrollment rates and can lead to a cycle of poverty."Let" is a learning light powered by vibration designed for children in impoverished regions of Myanmar. There are two types available: a lantern-shaped version and a light for bicycles. By attaching the generator to the body, it can generate power during commuting or playtime.The body is made of bamboo and can be locally produced using only hand tools. Children create this light as part of their school lessons.


Still, there are 59 million children worldwide who are unable to attend school despite being of school age. The main reasons for being unable to attend school include parents not allowing them to go for assistance, a lack of financial means to attend, and the inability to keep up with studies after enrolling. I believe that addressing these issues is crucial, and I identified the importance of lighting in this context. Having light at night can lead to increased income through night work and improved ability to study, ultimately contributing to higher enrollment and graduation rates.

Research question

How can children in poor communities get light to study?


In considering the development of the product, I started by determining the target region for test cases. Upon researching the global electricity access rates, I selected Myanmar as the target region. The reasons for choosing Myanmar include its low electricity access rate of approximately 50%, along with high enrollment rates but equally high dropout rates. Particularly, the high dropout rates led me to believe that the use of lighting could potentially address this issue by increasing study time at home.
Source : Sustainable Development Report 2021


In establishing the persona, I focused on monastery schools.
Myanmar's monastery schools exhibit the following characteristics:
- There are over 1,500 monastery schools nationwide.
- They are sustained through alms and donations, operating on a completely free-of-charge basis.
- They serve as a refuge, particularly for children from impoverished backgrounds.
- The curriculum is equivalent to that of public schools.
- Some schools provide vocational training in carpentry, tailoring, weaving, computer studies, gardening, catering, and more.
Based on these features, I have identified children attending monastery schools as the target audience.

User journey

From the target research, I identified children attending monastery schools as the main users. From there, I created personas and user journeys. During this process, issues such as the dark and unsafe nature of the journey home from school and the lack of electricity hindering study after returning home were highlighted. It led me to consider the possibility of harnessing vibrations generated in the daily lives of these children to produce electricity, which could then be utilized as a source of light.


Vibration-powered lights for children made by theirselves

Mood boad and Ideating though Skeches

In the initial idea sketch, the concept evolved from the notion of children storing and bringing home electricity. The central idea expanded around a form resembling a milk tank.


I chose bamboo for the material, which is easily available locally. I experimented to decide on a material to fix the generator and light source to be placed inside. I chose urethane foam spray, which is light and easy to handle.

"LET" comes in three variations: a power generator, a lantern-shaped light, and a bicycle light. As part of their curriculum at the monastery schools, children can create and use these devices. The usage involves attaching the battery section of the lantern-shaped or bicycle light to the power generator. By wearing the power generator in their daily lives, it generates electricity from vibrations, storing power in the battery. Children can use this electricity for studying or ensuring a safe journey to and from school. The design envisions 40 minutes of illumination for every 15 minutes of walking vibrations.

Story boad

The material used to secure the light source and battery is expanding polyurethane foam spray, which can accommodate bamboo of various sizes. The fabrication process doesn't require elaborate machinery and can be achieved using only hand tools such as an electric drill.


The body is made of bamboo and urethane foam. It can be made with hand tools only and requires no screws or nails. Since the inside is fixed with urethane foam, it can be made with bamboos of various sizes. Children can customize it by painting it their favorite color or drawing.

System and budget

Funding will be sourced from a portion of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) received by Myanmar. The funds received by the NPO will be used to provide production units and materials to schools. Children will have the opportunity to create the lights at school as part of their curriculum. By incorporating this activity into the school lessons, it is anticipated that there will be increased accessibility to ODA financial assistance. Furthermore, the bamboo craftsmanship involved in this project serves as the first step in vocational training for children, providing them with skills that can contribute to future employment opportunities.