Watch MoMA PS1’s solar canopy art installation get installed

June 28, 2017

© Pablo Enriquez for MoMA PS1

Every summer, New Yorkers are treated to kooky architectural innovation in the MoMA PS1 Courtyard. ( Last summer: this wild woven design from Mexico City-based architecture firm Escobedo Solíz Studio.) This year, Ithaca, New York-based architect Jenny Sabin takes the spotlight with her Lumen installation, a structure made of over one thousand digitally knitted photo luminescent cells that change color in the presence of sunlight. In honor of the installation opening this week, MoMA PS1 released videos in which the architect explains the development of her 500-pound solar-active canopy and shows off the construction and installation process.

Sabin calls Lumen a “socially and environmentally responsive structure that adapts to the densities of bodies, heat, and sunlight.” It’s comprised of over one million yards of digitally knitted fiber, while the “canopy of cellular components” is made up of recycled textiles as well as photo-luminescent and solar active yarns that absorb, collect and deliver light. In total, the canopies feature 250 hanging tubular structures and 100 robotically woven recycled spool stools.

At nighttime, the idea is that visitors are bathed in the “responsive glow of photo-luminescence.” Then during the day, it serves as a place to cool down, emitting clouds of cooling mist that responds to visitor’s proximity.

Here’s Sabin on the final result: “It is an open responsive system featuring digitally knitted and robotically woven lightweight, high-performing, formfitting, and adaptive materials. Lumen is a feminine form that offers luminous interiorities, informal networks, social fabrics, and fibrous assemblages that are pliable, transformative, and playful.”

Hear more from Sabin and watch the installation in MoMA’s trio of videos:

Lumen will serve as the backdrop to the 20th season of Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s outdoor music series. It will be on display to museum goers until September 4th.

[Via Archinect]

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All photos by Pablo Enriquez for MoMA PS1

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