Soft House

March 14, 2008

Digitally fabricated housing with energy-harvesting and light-distributing curtains

Soft House by KVA Matx transforms the household curtain into a set of energy-harvesting and light-emitting textiles that adapt to the changing space needs of homeowners and that generate up to 16 kilowatt-hours of electricity—more than half of the daily power needs of an average household in the United States.

KVA MATx’s designs for plastic photovoltaics, natural photo-luminescent pigments, and light-emitting semiconductor technologies are integrated into Soft House curtains, which convert sunlight into energy throughout the day, shade the house in summer, and create an insulating air layer in winter. These energy-efficient semiconductor technologies shift the boundaries between traditional walls and utilities to create a distributed energy network that is literally soft—a flexible network made of multiple, adaptable, and cooperative light-emitting textiles that can be touched, held, and used by homeowners according to their needs.

Parametric design software developed for the Soft House project, guides the relationship of building form to site and allows the energy-harvesting textiles to be customized by design according to the homeowner’s budget and energy needs without losing the economic benefits of mass-manufactured production.

Contact: KVA MATx, Boston, MA, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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