Living canopy changes its appearance throughout the day

This responsive design merges biology, architecture and maths to form a canopy that responds to light.

Over 1 million yards of digitally knitted and robotically woven fibre is currently hanging over MoMA PS1’s courtyard in New York City. The living textiles display subtle colour in sunlight and emit glowing light after sundown.

Created by Jenny Sabin Studio, the interactive installation won this year’s Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program, a platform that celebrates transformative architecture.

Sabin’s studio is experimental and multidisciplinary in its approach to design. Her work, which explores the intersections of architecture, biology and mathematics, is exhibited nationally and internationally. For MoMA PS1, Sabin created a canopy structure that transforms with its environment.

“Jenny Sabin’s Lumen is a socially and environmentally responsive structure that spans practices and disciplines in its exploratory approach to new materials. Held in tension within the walls of MoMA PS1’s courtyard, Lumen turns visitors into participants who interact through its responsiveness to temperature, sunlight, and movement,” says Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large.

According to the studio, the design incorporates 100 robotically woven recycled spool stools and a misting system that responds to visitors’ proximity to produce a refreshing micro-climate.

Socially and environmentally responsive, Lumen’s adaptive architecture is inspired by “collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure transforms throughout the day and night, responding to the density of bodies, heat, and sunlight.”

Lumen is the setting for the 20th season of Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s outdoor music series.

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