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. It rotates in three directions in accordance with sun’s position. Tyler Short designed the Penumbra kinetic shading system using traditional, static components that make the shading louvers swing out to create a deep shade.

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. The innovative framework, integrated with a number of sustainability features, allows homeowners design "hybrid spaces" from scratch, and co-create the community’s shared spaces with their neighbors.

To demonstrate the concept, Short created a 3D animation showing a complex system of cogs and gears that could theoretically be used to power the system. The design was conceived as a conceptual solution, one that would be interesting to see built. With so many moving parts, it might not be the most efficient shading solution, but the beautiful choreography of undulating form across the façade makes us want to see it in person.

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