Researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology have created a "smart facade" that offers better performance as well as energy savings. Developed as part of a collaboration between the Fraunhofer Institute and the Weissensee School of Art, this light-blocking facade only kicks in when exposed to strong sunlight, and it just so happens that it is powered by sunlight itself.
This smart facade, based on a concept by design student Bara Finnsdottir, comprises an array of circular flower-like components, each of which contains a fabric disc with nickel-titanium alloy wires. The allow is a shape-memory material, meaning it can stay in shapes it is bent into and will temporarily revert to its original shape when heated.
This facade can be fitted to existing windows or used on new windows. It represents intelligent use of design and engineering know-how