Belén developed an innovative textile application based on bioplastics to protect our bodies against the harmful effects of sunlight. The textile doesn’t block all UV rays but allows the correct UV rays to pass through so the body can produce vitamin D. Sun+ Bio Textiles is part of the ongoing, self-initiated Sun+ project in which Belén researches and develops material applications that are friendly to our planet and human beings. The curtain was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and V8 Architects for the Dutch Pavilion at the World Expo Dubai 2020. The design of this immense 44 x 14-meter curtain is based on the native vegetation of Dubai, such as date palms, moringa, mangrove, and oleander. The fabric, based on a vegetable raw material, is a renewable resource and comments on the fossil raw material extraction in the United Arab Emirates. Whereas conventional polyester (based on fossil raw materials) starts deteriorating as soon as the sun hits them, this canopy is long-lasting and entirely sustainable.
Belén shows an interesting process with this innovative material development that powerfully visualises and confirms this studio’s focus. What started as speculation has grown step by step into industrial production, and thorough research has resulted in a material that feels like textile but has a longer lifespan than synthetic fabrics. The Sun+ Shadecloth is a beautiful shade object that plays with sunlight in an enchanting way. The fabric – one hundred percent bio-textile – is a renewable plant-based resource that can be recycled and is very scalable. It is also easy to see an invitation to other designers and architects here.