Rooftop solar panels have been the primary format for harnessing sunlight to supplement energy production, but innovators are getting creative. Using thin-film photovoltaics, Brooklyn-based Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT) has developed ivy-style solar collectors for use on building façades.

“Solar Ivy’s unique patent-pending system continues to grow and to challenge our notions of what solar power can and can’t do,” the company says.

Anchored to residential or commercial buildings with steel mesh, Solar Ivy uses an array of leaf-shaped solar collectors. To customize the system, users tell SMIT how large the project is and its orientation, and the company builds the array to maximize available sunlight. Customers can also choose from two leaf aesthetics: organic or minimalist.

SMIT is currently taking orders for its sustainable and stylish Solar Ivy and has an installation at the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit “Design and the Elastic Mind.”


—Lauren Hunter, senior editor, REMODELING.