Winners of the first Velux International Design Award were selected based upon a series of innovative proposals for roof window blinds. Jury members included Petra Blaisse, Dutch designer of Amsterdam-based Inside Outside and Danish designer Stine Gam and Italian designer Enrico Fratesi from Denmark-based studio GamFratesi.
Ferro Fluid Scales by Hyunjeong Kim, a screen system which traps a suspension of transparent and opaque liquid within glass blades was chosen as the winning entry. Similar in appearance to black ink, the fluid responds to electromagnetic changes, altering the matter’s placement and density amidst the clear liquid to block the passage of daylight.
Responsive to temperature or light, integrated sensors emit the desired level of magnetization with power scale of 1 to 9 to control the infiltration of sunlight. Altering the strength and source of the magnetic fields then shapes the dark fluid material into linear, dotted or gradient patterns, manipulating light and shadow within interior spaces. The lowest power setting generates the weakest field, leaving the ferrofluid in a viscous state and blocking sunlight entirely while the highest setting produces the most condensed form - a fine line - allowing the most rays to pass through.
Runner up proposal by Iris van den Brink and Anneloes de Koff dubbed The Swipe, will give you another reason to say ‘There’s an app for that’. External shading elements or internal separation partitions can be slid open or closed by using a swiping action on a mobile application, shifting a series of identical brise soleil screens as displayed on the smartphone screen.
Similar to polarized glass, a series of criss-crossed panels can align to let the maximum amount of filtered daylight enter, or dissipate to block the passage of daylight. The diagonal pattern does not entirely block views, always allowing the outline of the landscape to be visible therefore removing any feelings of confinement.