The Idea | Features | Applications | Download Product Sheet

Solar Ivy is a solar energy delivery device that draws inspiration from ivy growing on a building.

Solar Ivy has evolved to meet the energy needs of individuals, businesses, and communities while adhering to the values of sustainable design and environmental stewardship. Combining photovoltaic technology and piezoelectrics, Solar Ivy's unique, patent–pending system continues to grow and to challenge our notions of what solar power can and can't do.

Solar Ivy and its parent company, SMIT, utilize recycled and reclaimed materials and life–cycle analysis to ensure that the system and its component parts can be recycled and reclaimed.


Solar Ivy's modularity allows for customization on a number of levels, including:

Color: Each leaf of Solar Ivy can be colored to order to meet aesthetic purposes or to "paint" your organizations name or logo.

Spacing: Density of Solar Ivy leaves can be increased or reduced depending on goals for energy gain, visibility requirements, or architectural needs.

Photovoltaic Type: Solar Ivy can be produced with one of several types of photovoltaic material depending on your energy production and environmental objectives.

Orientation: At any given geographical location there is are a range of pitch orientations available to Solar Ivy's leaf shape. In designing a Solar Ivy solution we can take into account architectural and aesthetic priorities by adjusting the leaves to have more or less pitch, or angle at different places.

Grow Anywhere

The stainless steel mesh that roots Solar Ivy to a building or sub-structure is flexible enough to stretch, bend, and curve to hug the contours of almost any surface, including building facades. Spread leaf concentrations thinner over windowed areas of a facade to enhance views. The modular design also allows for updating Solar Ivy as new photovoltaic technology becomes available.

Produce Renewable Energy

Through analysis of a site's sun exposure and geographical location, Solar Ivy's leaf arrangement and density are designed to meet optimal performance specifications. Each installation of Solar Ivy results in a unique product whose appearance, dimensions and energy capacity harness the maximum potential wattage for the location. With its unique flexiblity and modularity, Solar Ivy can be used independently, or complementing traditional solar systems in places they can't go (like facades and over windows), so you produce more energy.

Provide Shade

Just like its natural counterpart, Solar Ivy provides shade while collecting and converting sunlight into usable energy. A home or business utilizing Solar Ivy enjoys substantial savings from having to run air conditioning and HVAC units less.

Residential Applications
Use Solar Ivy on the roof or walls of your home or garage. Shade a deck or patio with Solar Ivy. Solar Ivy can be installed on nearly all building types using standard electrical hardware that will allow easy integration with existing power service or for on–site battery storage.

Commercial & Architectural Applications
Solar Ivy is a flexible system that can adapt to different building typologies, programmatic demands, and regional climates. From collaborating with architects and builders to harness sustainable energy sources in new buildings to retrofitting existing structures, Solar Ivy meets the needs and sustainability goals of business and property owners.

Advertising Applications
Solar Ivy's customization feature allows business and institutions to display logos or images as a solar "painting." By adjusting variables like density and pitch, and by coloring individual leaves, we can accurately reproduce corporate names, logos, or identifying images with Solar Ivy.

About | Principals | Sponsors | Consultants, Contractors, and Advisors Back to Top X

Solar Ivy is a product of SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) that has been challenging accepted notions about solar power collection throughout the world. Partnerships with photovoltaic industry leader Konarka and Carl Stahl Decorcable, among others, have encouraged and fostered Solar Ivy's growth.
Samuel Cabot Cochran
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Design Officer
Samuel Cochran grew up in St. Louis, MO until he attended Northfield Mt. Hermon, graduating in 2001. He then attended Pratt Institute and received his Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design in 2005. While at Pratt Sam's academic work spanned sculpture, furniture, product, and transportation with a focus on innovation through the design process and an understanding of technology's possibilities through systems and objects. Sam's thesis project at Pratt was GROW, a hybrid solar and wind energy creating device that took on the biomimetic form of ivy. Sam became SMIT's CEO in 2008.

Teresita Brigitte Cochran
Chief Marketing Officer
Teresita Cochran was born and reared in St. Louis, MO until she attended Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1993. She then attended the Rhode Island School of Design and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999. She received her Masters in Interactive Technology from New York University's Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) in 2005. Since then, Teresita has worked on business development, fund-raising and marketing as SMIT's former Chief Executive Officer in both New York City, NY and Boston, MA. She has been invited to guest speak at various sustainability and business focused events, and has been interviewed for a multitude of magazines and related press for her work with SMIT.

Benjamin Wheeler Howes
Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Architectural Design
Benjamin Howes grew up in Rochester, NY before receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture in 2006. Ben specializes in architectural & systems design at SMIT, and has been the Chief of Architectural Design and a managing member since the company's formation in the winter of 2007.
Rosebud Seed Fund, LLC

Family and friends : Special thanks to all of our family and friends who helped make our prototype of GROW at the MOMA possible.

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)
Special thanks to Jennifer Keller Jackson and Humera Fasihuddin

Pratt Institute Design Incubator
Special thanks to Debera Johnson
Consultants & Contractors:

Debera Johnson
Jamie Allen
Tom Igoe
Kelly Talcott
Ricardo Hollingsworth
Daniel Friedson
Micah Kotch
Diego Portillo
Erik Cooper
Jude Heslin-Di Leo
Mori Buster
David Gibbs
Stacie Plassche
Jonathan Lee
Travis Donia
Kevin McElroy
Paul Schwartz
Ross Derrico


Amanda Huffingham
Perta Farinha
Paul Paradiso
Justin Chin
Nicholas Stoker
Danny Alexander
Avani Patel
Ebbin Martin
Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn
Brian Kerr
Raphael Zollinger


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