MoMA PS1 just completed one of its most experimental and coolest installations to date. The Long Island City-based contemporary art museum wrapped up construction on Lumen, an immersive and interactive installation made with solar-active canopies that glow at night. Designed by Jenny Sabin Studio, Lumen reacts like a living entity to light, heat, and movement, creating different engaging environments from day to night.



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Set to open to the public Thursday, June 29, Lumen will be on view in MoMA’s PS1 courtyard during summer 2017. The futuristic canopy was selected as the winner of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program that challenges emerging designers to create a temporary, outdoor installation addressing environmental issues and forward-thinking design.

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Jenny Sabin Studio designed Lumen with over a million yards of digitally knitted fiber made from recycled photo-luminescent textiles that absorb solar energy during the day and emit glowing hues of blue, pink, and purple at night. The cellular canopies are stretched overtop the courtyard and give the space an extraterrestrial vibe. Suspended from the canopy like stalactites are 250 tubular structures. A hundred robotically woven recycled spool stools are scattered throughout the courtyard like stalagmites.

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Related: Futuristic canopy made of knitted solar panels wins 2017 Young Architects Program at MoMA

During the day, the canopy’s integrated misting system sprays water to cool visitors in hot weather. Lumen’s use of mist for cooling and its multicolored glowing backdrop at night creates a dynamic setting for the 20th season of Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s pioneering outdoor music series.

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MoMA PS1 writes: “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. The result of collaboration across disciplines, Lumen applies insights and theories from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering—integrating high-performing, formfitting, and adaptive materials into a structure where code, pattern, human interaction, environment, geometry, and matter operate together.”

+ Jenny Sabin Studio

Images by Pablo Enriquez

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