I don't know what it is about the Arctic that attracts the wild ideas of southerners. Especially architects. There are all manner of strangely designed buildings up here, designs that make you go "Huh". Futuristic looking buildings including some that look like space ships. Jentography, when she was Jen of Nunavut even ran a contest on her now defunct contest site about strange buildings.
This idea for solar balloons to light up the Arctic, which I found via Circumpolar Musings, while not a building comes from the far too fertile minds of a pair of Architecture students.
That is exactly what we need up here (sarcasm alert). Forget trying to find affordable practical housing for the north. Forget trying to address the insane cost of transportation that make living here unaffordable. If only we could have light all winter long that would be so much better. Who wants to see stars anyway? Energy solutions that reduce our reliance on oil generated electricity, what ever for? You have solar powered night lights.
You'll note that the two students who "won international recognition for their idea to cut through the seemingly endless months of darkness in the Canadian Arctic" have never been to the freaking Arctic. But hey, they studied about it in an intense studio design course.
But lest you think its all just about improving our lot with the endless Seasonal Affective Disorders that plague us, there are very practical aspects to their idea as well. For example, moored near the shore, these lights could act as lighthouse to guide vessels to port when they are operating from November to February. This would greatly aid them while they are plowing through four feet of ice. And they'd help guide Inuit hunters back home, because they've been unable to find their way around up here for the last five thousand years.
I can barely contain my enthusiasm.