020040082 UA-118642529-1

leafy: artificial gardens of kinetic leaves help shape actual parks

Cities are getting warmer day by day. The effects of urban heat islands will probably be equivalent to about half the warming caused by climate change by the year 2050 that is assumed to affect about two-thirds of the world population which lives in urban areas.


The phenomenon is broadly the result of less evapotranspiration due to reduced vegetation, and also the density of the city, types of materials used, and anthropogenic heat production, play a huge role. It does not only pose danger to human and animal health but also wastes unforeseen amounts of energy resources by raising the demand for cooling in summer and indirectly causing elevated emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Various actions are proposed by experts to be taken into consideration for different regions and climates to help reduce the heat island effect and improve the community’s resilience to heatwaves which are becoming a bigger risk to human health. Mitigation and adaptation strategies are two main approaches to reduce heat island effects, like increasing vegetation and plants, installing green, cool, or reflective roofs, cool pavements, using energy-efficient appliances, and equipment..etc. However, this is not always the case. Places like Abu Dhabi face more challenges compared to any other city in more mild climates.  

An easy solution like planting a tree for shade is not as simple as it seems. The Emirate’s water resources are also under 'extreme stress' which has depleted over recent decades due to economic development, agriculture, and population increases. The urban areas are relying on desalinated and treated water supplies. Besides, in the hyperarid climate of Abu Dhabi, the felt temperature of the city center is 5°C higher than the desert. These create compelling circumstances for growing and maintaining vegetation and planting which would also contribute to air purification and cooling earth.

“Leafy” steps in at this point, -an artificial garden made of modular, kinetic, thermobimetal, flabellate umbrages with a shape reminding the date palm leaves- to maintain a sustainable environment for actual vegetation and plants in the near and far future, providing sufficient shade and water, along with creating awareness about the conscious use of water and reminding the legacy of planting more trees. 

A simple workflow is theorized to assist the desired solution. Metals with different properties are bond together to react accordingly to the rising and falling temperatures that make the blades of leaves expand at noon, forming canopies, and contract at night allowing wind to flow through. Thermal expansion is not only used to create a life-like movement of plants naturally reacting to the sun within the circadian rhythm but also to transform it into a natural condensation and precipitation collector. As the thermobimetal leaves direct daily condense water to the stem, -like a reversed photosynthesis phase- the actual plant roots stay hydrated and shaded enough to grow happily. As the evapotranspiration occurs the abaxial surface of the bimetal leaves hold water molecules to create micro rain. And so, a hybrid cycle of life is generated. 


Cool Abu Dhabi Urban Heat Island Challenge . 2020 . ABU DHABI . UAE . 1.000m²    //WINNER