Aesthetics Wiki
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Solarpunk is a genre of speculative fiction that is also its own distinguished aesthetic, focusing mainly on renewable energy, living in harmony with nature, and the better future envisioned through both. Solarpunk also emphasizes handcrafted wares (as opposed to mass-produced products) and community. The 'punk' in Solarpunk comes from the genre's anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist nature, as well as its strong focus on community and prefigurative politics, which separates it from aesthetics like Cyberprep.

Solarpunk futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk's potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community. At its core, Solarpunk is a vision of a future that embodies the best of what humanity can achieve: a post-scarcity, post-hierarchy, post-capitalistic world where humanity sees itself as part of nature and clean energy replaces fossil fuels.

The Solarpunk Manifesto may be found here. A reference guide for all things Solarpunk may be found at this link, and more content may also be found at r/solarpunk and on solarpunks.net.


Elements of Solarpunk

Everything from a positive imagining of our collective futures to actually creating it: 3D printing, afrofuturism, art, cooperatives, DIY, ecological restoration, engineering, fiction, futurism, gardening, geodesic domes, green architecture, green design, green energy, ingenuous indigenous practices, intentional community, maker spaces, materials science, music, permaculture, repair cafes, solar, solar power, sustainability, tree planting, urban planning, and volunteering (amongst other things).

Visual Aesthetics

The visual aesthetics of Solarpunk are open and evolving. They include a mash-up of the following:

  • 1800s age-of-sail/frontier living (but with more bicycles)
  • Creative reuse of existing infrastructure (sometimes post-apocalyptic, sometimes present-weird)
  • Art Nouveau
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Jugaad-style innovation from the non-Western world
  • High-tech backends with simple, elegant outputs

Media

Books

While Solarpunk is a relatively young literary sub-genre, there are stories that take place in a solarpunk world or contain solarpunk elements, as well as older novels that helped inspire the genre. There are also numerous non-fiction works that relate to Solarpunk culture and applications in real life.

Alphabetical by Author. List originally compiled by u/dwarrowly on r/solarpunk

A

  • Margaret Atwood
    • Oryx and Crake

B

  • Octavia Butler
    • Xenogenesis Series (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago)
    • Earthseed Series (Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents)
  • Christopher Brown
    • Failed State

C

  • Rachel Carson
    • Silent Spring

D

  • Cory Doctorow
    • Walkaway

H

  • Frank Herbert
    • Dune
  • Aldous Huxley
    • Island

L

  • Ursula K. Le Guin
    • The Dispossessed
    • The Word for World is Forest
    • The Left Hand of Darkness
    • Always Coming Home

M

  • Walter M. Miller Jr.
    • A Canticle for Leibowitz

O

  • Nnedi Okorafor
    • Who Fears Death

R

  • Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Pacific Edge
    • Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars Trilogy
    • New York 2140
    • Future Primitive: The New Ecotopia
  • Geoff Ryman
    • The Child Garden

S

  • Pamela Sargent
    • The Shore of Women
  • Theodore Sturgeon
    • More Than Human

V

  • Jeff VandeerMeer
    • Annihilation

W

  • Phoebe Wagner (editor)
    • Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation

Films

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Black Panther

Games

  • Earthlock
  • Obduction

Writings

Gallery

This gallery includes Solarpunk aesthetic samples, including animated stills, architectural renderings, and imaginative examples of Solarpunk fashion.

Real-World Examples

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