The agenda of the studio deconstructs the modern wall assembly in an effort to rethink the notion of facade while integrating low-cost, low-performance flexible solar cells known as OPVs, or Organic Photo-Voltaics. At a larger urban scale, the projects seek high-impact uses for the relatively small amounts of power, finding architectural ways to put the vibrant life of the urban market below in direct contact with the new, charged facade. The SOFT Louver, a tension-based textile louver system, provides opportunities the residential occupants of the tower building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to optimize their electricity generation and sun-shading simultaneously. At a larger, urban scale, public areas of the building's SOFT facade can be controlled centrally, creating iconic imagery that identifies the building's unique energy-gathering potentials.
The "Mixing Market", located at the ground level under a tower covered in the SOFT Louver system, employs the small amounts of power in a sun-following manner: the building's facades are linked to speakers located throughout the market, creating a situation where the sound-focus of the shaded space is linked to the path of the sun in the sky throughout the day and year. The various populations who use the market -- from produce farmers to late-night party-goers -- are all provided with electricity from the facade to power speakers which demand attention from the busy Marketplace's patrons.
Sheila Kennedy's architecture studio, Unpacking the Wall, with Juliet Hsu, Spring 2010.