Since 2000, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) PS1 art gallery brings to life experimental outdoor installations every summer—and this year’s winning design is shaping up to be its most innovative project yet. Ithaca-based design practice Jenny Sabin Studio won the 2017 MoMA PS1’s Young Architecture Program competition with their proposal of a futuristic shelter made from robotically knitted textile solar panels. The project, called Lumen, is a “knitted light” structure that will immerse visitors in a cooling microclimate during the day and in an ethereal immersive environment at night that glows using energy collected from the sun.
Now in its 18th edition, the Young Architects Program gives emerging architects and designers the chance to build a temporary outdoor installation in the MoMA PS1 courtyard in Long Island City. Proposals were required to provide shelter, seating, and water, while also addressing environmental issues that include sustainability and recycling. Jenny Sabin Studio’s winning Lumen will feature a robotically woven canopy made of recycled photoluminescent textiles that collect solar energy to produce light. Misting systems built into tubular structures called “fabric stalactites” will keep visitors cool during hot days.
Initially developed for Nike, Lumen’s high-tech fabric canopy is a cross-disciplinary experiment that merges elements of architecture with biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering. Jenny Sabin Studio writes: “The project is mathematically generated through form-finding simulations informed by the sun, site, materials, program, and the structural morphology of knitted cellular components. Resisting a biomimetic approach, Lumen employs an analogic design process where complex material behavior and processes are integrated with personal engagement and diverse programs. Lumen undertakes rigorous interdisciplinary experimentation to produce a multisensory environment that is full of delight, inspiring collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure and materials transform throughout the day and night.”
Lumen will be open to the public at the MoMA PS1 courtyard on June 29, 2017 and will serve as the backdrop for Warm Up, the art gallery’s annual outdoor music series.
Images via Jenny Sabin Studio