The Soft Energy Path presented by Amory Lovins at The Rocky Mountain Institute in 1978, outlined the value of multiple and hybrid approaches to reduce mainstream consumption of non-renewable energy sources. Drawing upon these principles, the Soft House research group, a team of architects, engineers, fabricators and manufacturers organized by KVA MATx created a prefabricated house design where the performance and material potentials of disruptive organic photovoltaic (OPV) nanotechnology could succeed without having to compete with the dominant technology of the electric grid.
The Soft House transforms the household curtain into a set of energy harvesting and light emitting textiles that power solid state lighting and portable work tools such as laptops, digital cameras, etc. Soft House textiles can adapt to the changing space needs of home owners and can be moved to follow the sun generating up to 16,000 watt-hours of electricity - more than half of the daily power needs of an average household in the United States. KVA MATx was commissioned by the Vitra Design Museum to realize full scale prototypes of the Soft House energy harvesting textiles for the exhibit “Open House: Architecture and Technology for Intelligent Living.”