Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SMIT - GROW and Solar Ivy

Whenever I'm at the MoMA, I always make it a point to stop in the architecture and design galleries. Even if I've seen it all before, I love getting up close to some of my favorite design objects and, like all of the permanent collections at MoMA, I find that there's always something new and interesting to see. This time around, I was particularly interested in the Action! Design over Time exhibition that's currently on display, showcasing contemporary objects that utilizes ideas about time, action and change in their design. There's a lot of great things to see here, but I was especially taken with GROW, a new approach to solar and wind power, from SMIT, a sustainable design start-up.

Not only is the ivy-like design of GROW beautiful, but it serves an important purpose too. These panels don't just capture solar energy, but they also move as the wind blows through them, generating kenetic energy. It's two energy sources in one!

Although the idea for GROW has not yet become a commercially-viable reality, for now, SMIT has come up with Solar Ivy (the above image), which will be available in the near future. Solar Ivy not only makes use of the solar energy concept behind GROW, but it also incorporates a structure into the design that allows plants, such as ivy and other crawlers, to grow up the sides of a building without causing damage to the building's exterior.

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