CURBED's Barbara Eldredge takes a look at architect and designer Carlo Ratti's most recent project, the Sun&Shade.
The concept features a light-reflecting canopy that's made up of several mirrors that automatically rotate to capture the sun's rays and reflect them at a photovoltaic panel. The process generates clean electricity while also cooling the shaded area beneath the canopy. A working prototype of the Sun&Shade just debuted at Dubai’s Museum of the Future as part of its “Reimagining Climate Change” series.
Ratti claims local vernacular buildings served as the project’s muse: “In developing Sun&Shade we were inspired by the Middle Eastern tradition of shadowing in architecture and public space,” he says in the press release. “Sun&Shade aims to bring this concept to the next level, allowing shadowing to be digitally controlled.” The position of each mirror can be independently set, effectively using them as individual pixels to control just how much shading is provided and even draw patterns or letters through the shadows they cast.