Doris Sung has spent the past few years designing "breathing" architecture that adapts to environmental conditions.

Thanks to an overview of her work at The Creators Project, we now have a simple explanation of how Sung creates these responsive structures. Her walls and windows are based on multi-layer metal “skins” that curl when certain layers react to heat — the brighter the sun shines, the wider the skins open to let colder air through. Special software shapes each panel to maximize the cooling effect, even for very curvy surfaces. Sung’s approach hasn’t seen much real-world use so far, but she hopes for energy-efficient buildings that need very little air conditioning to remain comfortable.