detail of 'piksols'
swiss-based drzach & suchy (drzach is an architect in basel, suchy is a cryptographer,
software engineer working in zurich) have designed 'piksol', a solar cell pixel which enables
one to create arbitrary patterns and images on sun facing building facades.
it represents a single pixel of an image, so when multiple 'piksols' are combined in a
desired arrangement, they provide a visual design, while at the same time exercising the
capabilities of collecting solar energy. this combination allows for both an aesthetically interesting
and environmentally-friendly facade design.
simple prototype 'piksols' made of paper and small solar cells
drzach & suchy have built a small prototype of a shadow casting panel which gives you
an idea of how the 'piksols' could be realized on a facade.
an example of a shadow casting panel containing several 'piksols'
a single 'piksol'
when 'piksols' are attached to the facade of a building, they cast a shadow represented
in the form of a black pixel of the image / pattern which will be visible.
an observer standing in front of a building decorated by 'piksols' would not see the solar cells
at all. on a cloudy day when there is no direct sunlight the pattern would hardly be visible.
'piksols' as building blocks of a shadow casting panel
'piksols' used in a shadow casting panel could change their appearance during the day,
as the direction of sun illumination changes. for example, in the morning image 'A' would
decorate a facade, while in the afternoon image 'B' would become the visible image (as seen below).
two views of the same panel under different directions of light
a facade covered with 'piksols' in the design of mona lisa on a sunny day
example of shadow casting panel