Developed by Italian architect and inventor Carlo Ratti, this novel beach umbrella is designed in collaboration with Sammontana, Italy’s biggest gelato brand. The frozen dessert maker was interested in seeing if their environmental footprint could be reduced, and worked with Ratti to create this folding, power-generating umbrella that unfurls like a flower, or even a satellite in space.
Able to both create passive cooling (shade), and active power generation, the umbrella can serve to charge up your devices, or when paired with others, power a freezer for summertime gelato. 🍨 It’s a simple yet effective design, one that feels obvious and essential, especially in the era of climate change.
“Can we use the power of the abundant summer sunshine to make our holiday experience more sustainable?” says Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The design concept of this project starts from using the sun to produce electricity to cool the space under the umbrella – and then scale it up to provide power to any beach resort. We are delighted that Sammontana invited us to develop this project, as both our organizations share a strong commitment to environmental values and human wellbeing.”