Architecture student Tyler Short has developed an alternative to the traditional window shade - mechanical louvres that move in three dimensions to adapt to sunlight at different times of the day (+ movie).
Like vertical indoor blinds, the conceptual Penumbra shading system
would hang down in front of windows and could be pivoted left and right
to adapt to the east and west orientations of the sun. But it would also
be able to fold upwards to create a horizontal shade against the high
"This project was designed to offer a kinetic and mechanical solution to
a problem that would otherwise be nearly impossible to solve with
static architectural components: providing shading across a building
facade for both low evening sun and high afternoon sun conditions,"
explained Short, who created the design for his architecture degree at
the University of Oregon.
"Our solution was a series of vertical shading louvres, that can
independently pivot to maximise solar protection, and when the sun
reaches an altitude in which vertical louvres would be ineffective,
completely rotate upwards to act as a horizontal shading element and
light shelf," he added.
Short has produced a short animation to demonstrate the concept, showing the louvres powered by a system of cogs and gears. The designer says the system could be powered by either hand or computer.