Carlo Ratti Associati and Dubai's Museum of the Future present Sun&Shade.
International design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati, in collaboration with Dubai's Museum of the Future, has developed a dynamic, reflective canopy which can provide digital shading and climate adaptation in cities. The first working prototype – called SUN&SHADE – will be unveiled in Dubai today as part of the Museum of the Future's "Reimagining Climate Change" exhibit.
Sun&Shade is based on an array of mirrors that track the sun. Much like a sunflower, each mirror can move on a double axis and reflect the sun's rays away from the ground – while the space below the canopy naturally cools down. Deviated rays, in turn, are concentrated on a photovoltaic receiver, located a safe distance away, that generates electric power.
Based on the sun's location and on the user's input, Sun&Shade can tilt mirrors to different degrees, allowing people to interact with sunlight in creative ways - from selecting the precise level of shading underneath, to composing dynamic drawings with light.
"We are excited to debut Sun&Shade at the 'Reimagining Climate Change' exhibition in Dubai, and to showcase its incredible potential for helping cities adapt to climate change", says Antonio Atripaldi, project manager at Carlo Ratti Associati: "The canopy is half power infrastructure, half architecture for public space. With its hybrid nature, it allows us more control over our surroundings. In the near future, we can imagine extending the canopy to cover streets or open squares in hot, arid climates such as Dubai's, allowing people to enjoy the outdoors all year round. Conversely, in a cold place we could concentrate rays underneath the canopy, to heat the environment."