Re: Dome design and translucent/opaque panels

> > Translucent blueberry? Pretty, but a MAJOR solar design flaw under 
> > the sun
> > of a Florida summer! And my wife would object strenuously to the
> > "translucent" part.
> Whoops...I just went back and read every word of my recent posts.  I did,
> at one point, mention translucency.  I might not be a bad idea, if done
> right.
> Here's my thought.
> An opaque frame with no "windows" per se.  Only translucent panels for
> admitting light.  Realistically, most houses have a lousy view...clear
> windows
> could be used to frame the view, and the rest could be used for general
> light.
> Picture a "frosted" looking white dome with translucent colored
> triangular 
> panels available for windows.  This used to be done in "Four Seasons" 
> windows in traditional houses, so it's based on a traditional design,
> though 
> it also implies iMac type color options, which could become exterior
> design 
> elements for their owners...not to mention a strong graphic element
> internally.
> Conversely, a "blueberry" or other funky colored dome, with translucent
> frosted "white" windows.  With the long strip arrangements of windows
> possible
> in a dome, this might be a very strong visual element, too, while not
> providing
> only colored light to the interior.
> What is the use of a *clear* window, when there is nothing to see?
> It might work...
>      -- Chuck Knight

	I thought for sure I'd mentioned this earlier, and there's 
now a new mention in the "Aerogel Panels" section on the Autonomous 
House page. One of the things I've been wanting to do with these 
houses is to use polymer liquid crystals. Basically, it's a tintable 
Plexiglas type of material that goes from clear to opaque in 
milliseconds, or to some translucent stage in between, depending on 
	I've put in a link as well to more info and a tutorial on polymer 
liquid crystals (PLC) on that page, as well. 

	Using this material in the panels, every wall would also be a 
window, and vice-versa. In fact, my hyper-intuitive user interface 
idea for this was to have a small replica of the dome sitting in the 
center of the room, (probably on a tasteful little column or something 
artsy like that) with touch-sensitive panels on it. You walk up, 
touch the panels you want, and the panels above your head toggle 
between clear and opaque. Sliders could be implemented to handle 
variable opacity, and when you combine with people-locating 
technologies, you get some other fun prospects:

	-A tracker that keeps you in sunlight (or shade) as you move 
about the room.
	-A shifting series of panels that keep you in sunlight (or 
shade) while sitting in one spot, as the sun moves (Say, where you 
are reading a book or working at a desk)

	There are lots of other things that can be done with it, too. 


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