Jin Young Song Receives Grant for Façade Prototype

Jin Young Song has received funding to advance his research on facade innovation. Above, ZEAF, or Zero Energy Adaptive Facade, is rendered on a city street. Image by Jin Young Song

By Adam McCullough

Published January 27, 2015

Jin Young Song, assistant professor of architecture, has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop a facade that imitates the leaves of a tree in its dappling and diffusion of natural light.

ZEAF, or Zero Energy Adaptive Facade, was developed through Song's Buffalo- and Seoul, South Korea-based practice, Dioinno. The $10,000 NYSCA award, which was sponsored by the Architectural League of New York through NYSCA's Independent Projects program, will allow Song to advance his research beyond the prototype phase.

The facade is integrated with a photochemically-responsive polymer sheet and folded into an origami-inspired pattern. As natural light pours through the facades openings, it is diffused and dappled onto the floor, walls and furnishings.  

According to Song, ZEAF steps toward the marriage of artistry and sustainability in its form, function and materiality. 

Digital model of ZEAF’s dappled light effect. Image by Jin Young Song

ZEAF concept. Image by Jin Young Song

Previously, Song has received recognition for his work in both prefabricated architecture and modular furniture. PART, or Prefabricated Apartment Remodeling Type, won the Grand Prize in the 2013 Hyundai Engineering & Construction Technology Forum. This prefabricated design seeks to eliminate the need for on site construction in urban space remodeling. Furthermore, PART contributes to the sustainable beautification of urban areas with distressed or outdated housing projects.

Song's PART (Prefabricated Apartment Remodeling Type) won the Grand Prize in the 2013 Hyundai Engineering and Construction Technology Forum. Rendering by Jin Young Song

Qube (before) / Rendering by Jin Young Song

More recently, Song’s "Qube 1" design received an Architizer A+ Awards distinction. This modular furniture unit saves space by fitting a compactable table and chair set into a small, cubic side table. Song says Qube offers a stark contrast to overdesigned and oversized furniture, which fail to consider the “compactness of current living style.”

Qube (after) / Rendering by Jin Young Song