The Mimosa Pudica, of the Fabaccae family is nicknamed the sensitive plant or “touch-me-not” for its response to external stimulus by drooping down and shutting its leaves. This attribute inspires a thought process that aims at applying this movement to an architectural application. The project undertaken outlines an idea that could be used in real time. Our research aims to emulate this phenomenon, to recreate it in a way that it can be incorporated as a functional element in the building, interweaving the principles of energy efficiency and aesthetics with the existing design scope. The design of a moving petal system inspired by the nastic movements of the mimosa pudica is created with shading and solar energy harvesting as its major functions. The mechanism of the device functions on the principles of contraction of Nitinol which is triggered as a function of light intensity, with more light causing the wings to unfold. This phenomenon is used to shade the surface above which the device is fixed. By generating arrays of the same prototype, we hypothesize that it shall be possible to harness the incident solar energy by mounting solar panels on the wing surface and generate interesting shading patterns.
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