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Modern buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows give spectacular views, but they require a lot of energy to cool. Doris Kim Sung works with thermo-bimetals, smart materials that act more like human skin, dynamically and responsively, and can shade a room from sun and self-ventilate.

Designed by USC architect professor Doris Kim Sung, the “Bloom” installation is made with 14,000 pieces of thermobimetal — two thin sheets of metals, each with different expansion rates, laminated together. When the temperature rises, the metal sheets curl up. When it gets cooler, the sheets flatten out.

A sun-tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, with a shape alluding to a woman’s Victorian-era under garment, “Bloom” stitches together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form and pattern-making into an environmentally responsive form. Made primarily out of a smart thermobimetal, a sheet metal that curls when heated, the form’s responsive surface shades and ventilates specific areas of the shell as the sun heats up its surface.

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