Shade by day, shine by night

Man, I love living in a time in which the borderlines between art, craft, architecture and engineering seem to get blurrier with every passing day.

Marked as today’s Exhibit A in this regard is Eric Howeler and Meejin Yoon’s lovely Hover project for New Orleans. Hover is a suspended canopy of textile cells, each of which harvests solar gain by day and emits that energy as a gentle LED glow at night – a single, self-contained intervention that provides shelter, shade and public illumination, all without drawing on the grid.

It’s not too much to say that this is the kind of wise and aesthetically-guided use of technology that makes me hopeful about the future of cities. I continue to think that Howeler and Yoon are doing some of the most creatively multidisciplinary design work out there, and anticipate with a certain glee the day they have the resources to scale that work up. ‘Cause, let me tell you, that day is coming.

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