A student has proposed a novel take on the traditional window blind that can twist and shift in three dimensions. Penumbra is a concept from architecture student Tyler Short using louvers that can tilt both horizontally and vertically to provide shade throughout the day. The louvers act like a vertical venetian blind, and can be tilted 180 degrees as the sun tracks from east to west. What makes Penumbra special, explains Short, is the louvers can rotate upwards to act as "a horizontal shading element and light shelf."
The horizontal trick allows light to permeate deep into a building while preventing direct sunlight from coming in. To demonstrate the concept, Short created a 3D animation showing a complex system of cogs and gears that could theoretically be used to power the system. Although the concept seems highly unlikely to ever become reality, the visual impact of a mechanical wave of louvers extending out from a building is nonetheless breathtaking.