solar powered cumulus parasol by studio toer self-inflates in the sun
solar powered cumulus parasol by studio toer self-inflates in the sun
mar 30, 2014

solar powered cumulus parasol by studio toer self-inflates in the sun

solar powered cumulus parasol by studio toer self-inflates in the sun
all images courtesy of studio toer





with summer just around the corner, netherlands-based studio toer has designed ‘the cumulus parasol’, a solar powered shade which self-inflates when the sun starts shining. energy generating modules fixed to the top of the stand-alone shade activate a fan with the presence of natural light, inflating the body of the fabric umbrella. expanding to its full size in in about 20 seconds, the cloud canopy doesn’t have a metal core structure; the curved shape is aerodynamic, allowing it to withstand windy weather, a silicone coating keeps it resistant to water, and its nylon skin makes it durable, lightweight, and strong. the whimsical shape refers to a cumulus cloud, billowing overhead and protecting those beneath it from harsh rays under its two meter diameter expanse. in dim skies, the parasol will either deflate automatically, or can be switched off manually using a mechanism integrated in the pole. the parasol is being presented at milan design week 2014.


cumulus parasol by toer
video courtesy of studio toer

the solar panel, fixed to the top of the canopy

when the sun shines, the parasol autonomously inflates

the inflated cloud covering balloons overhead

fully open

the parasol remains deflated when the sun is not out

  • Could this be inflated by the expansion of gas caused by the heat of the sun? To make the dramatic volume change, you would want a gas that had a greater expansion coefficient then air…

    clarke olsen
  • Just watched the video and your creation is truly wonderful.

    Ron Smith
  • This is wonderful. The sight of it put a smile on my face. Truly lovely.

    Ron Smith

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

(5 articles)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
507,101 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine