The SOFT Rockers are smart, solar charging stations disguised as outdoor rocking furniture. Recharge yourself and your electronics while relaxing with friends in a new clean energy culture that is social and interactive. The parametric design is fabricated of presswood sheets that are digitally cut by a robotic arm and joined together to form a continuous curved structural loop. Flexible thin-film photovoltaics, lighting and innovative power electronics are integrated into the design.Our interdisciplinary design team was given a simple brief: create an interactive installation for MIT’s 150th birthday. With a small budget and only 6 weeks, our challenge was to go from concept creation to full-scale, working prototypes for public use. Mechanical solar tracking improves PV performance by 16%, but requires structure, moving parts and materials with high embodied energy. Glass-based solar panel manufacture requires intensive energy for clean rooms, silicon production and shipping. We asked: how can we design a low carbon solar charger that is ‘soft’-- adaptable in its form to different site conditions, responsive to its users and environment and persuasive in advocating for the new culture we need of distributed energy and clean manufacturing. The SOFT Rocker design invents ways to bridge between ‘high’ and ‘low’ materials and technologies. SOFT Rocker generates electricity but engages the body and works like furniture “by hand”; it mixes sun tracking and social dynamics; it is a site specific object and a flexible form family of ‘soft’ wood construction. Unlike conventional ‘hard’ urban infrastructure, the SOFT Rocker form-family is highly adaptable and can be mass-customized for any solar latitude without mold making investment. The SOFT Rocker blurs distinctions between pleasure and work to recasts power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity rather than a singular intractable system of centralized infrastructure.