Social Umbrella is a concept for a public bench shaded by solar structure. When the bench is occupied, the solar structure adjusts to shade the occupants from the sun and rain. When the bench is unoccupied, the solar structure tracks the sun for optimal electricity generation. Whether looking for shade from the sun, protection from rain, or simply exploring and playing in the neighborhood, it can bring people together under an attractive and interactive public amenity.
I’m grateful for the many collaborators who contributed to the design process: Quinton Zondervan, Joshua Kampa, Adam Ribaudo, Trevor Sanders, Karin Brandt, and Eline Bakker.
The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority funded the research process with a planning and design grant from their first Forward Fund.