A computer-controlled canopy that couples the cooling of outdoor areas with solar power generation was unveiled in Dubai in February.
Showcased at a pop-up exhibition at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, the shiny metal creation is the latest by Italian architect and designer Carlo Ratti.
The six-by-six-meter prototype is lined with metal dishes which are remotely controlled to reflect the sun's rays onto a solar power generator and let in as much sunlight as desired.
The self-cleaning mirrors are meant to take care of smudges and dirt on their own.
Much like a field of sunflowers, the dishes can follow the sun as it moves from east to west, diverting sunlight and heat while optimizing power generation.
Made by Ratti's studios in Turin, Italy, the technology is the first of its kind, according to the designer.
The prototype is vulnerable to rain, although the makers say future versions will be waterproof.
The dishes twist and turn as programmed, casting shadows and sunlight on the ground as letters or artistic patterns.
Future, larger versions will take this to the next level -- allowing users to interact with the canopy and put their own artistic stamp on the light and shade patterns.
The aim is to use architecture to create more livable outdoor spaces in hot and arid climates such as Dubai's, which is vulnerable to rising temperatures, as envisioned in this artist's impression.