May 6, 2014

Sunbrella Pushes Innovation With Future of Shade Competition





Sponsored Content by


Light and shade are essential to the way people relate to a space. Finding the perfect combination allows people to connect on an emotional level, but also to be physically comfortable, whether it’s in an office, a park or a home.

Likewise, shade provides protection against glare, harmful UV rays and opens up the possibilities of living: enjoying a meal outside without wilting, reducing power consumption in our homes and buildings, and providing aesthetically appealing and usable public spaces.

Because light and shade are such important elements in the tool kit of interior designers and architects, it’s incumbent upon the trade to push the innovation envelope when it comes to shade design. That’s why


fabrics created the Future of Shade competition, which invites designers and architects to envision pioneering shade designs to meet the needs of the 21st century and beyond.

Textiles such as Sunbrella performance fabric—with its 50-year history of innovation—offer a new perspective on shade design. While the protection and practicality of fabric shade structures contribute to comfort and reduce interior heat gain, sculptural and aesthetically pleasing uses of fabrics take building design to a new level.

In 2013, the competition saw a creative cabana win the grand prize by using twisted fabric panels to provide shade, as well as allowing light to playfully decorate the interior space. Another noteworthy entry reimagined shade in a public space by enveloping park visitors with colorful, tensioned shade structures. A student team created colorful fabric panels as an alternative to the drab mesh fabric that covers scaffolding on building construction.

Learn more about the competition at

and visit the Sunbrella booth (2248) at the AIA Expo to

see this year’s winning entries.

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