Magnetic window shade

It’s great when innovation is recognized and rewarded. It’s especially great when it’s independent innovation, by a young designer, and the grateful party is an internationally operating manufacturer.

Hyunjeong Kim, a student at Berlin University of the Arts, came up with a magnetic window shading system. It’s called  Ferro Fluid Scales, and the key is the use of ferrofluids: semi-liquid materials, often with a high iron-content, that react to magnetic fields.

The scales refer to a set of horizontal louvers which follow the angle of a roof. The louvers are thick and curved and allow light to pass through. The dark, opaque ferrofluid is collected within these horizontal blades, together with a clear fluid for suspension.

When an electromagnetic force is applied to one end, through the use of a permanent magnet or a current, the ferrofluid is drawn to that side of the louver. This bunches the opaque material up, allowing light to pass through the remaining part of the window shade.

Velux sponsors the International Design Awards to get students thinking about how the windows of the future. The design for Ferro Fluid Scales struck a note with the jury at last week’s ceremony at Eindhoven University (NL). Design students were invited to join in the Velux Group’s innovation process to develop coverings for roof windows that go beyond the ordinary, and make a real difference in the quality of people’s lives. This particular case certainly has that potential.

Watch a video demonstrating the design principle. Images and information via Velux Design Award.


  1. […] Magnetic window shade […]