The shell is a key element in every architectural project with great significance in the sense that the user obtains from it. The first forms of housing were compact and isolated from the outside, while over the years, mainly because of the evolution of technology, and especially glass, transparency in buildings began to appear in the foreground. Along the way, apart from the factor of human nature, the design trends began to move more and more towards the harmonious connection of the "inside" to "outside". The shell started becoming increasingly porous, reaching complete transparency, through years. Despite the undeniable benefits in the quality and feel the user obtains from such a choice (when there is a successful balance between the connection with the external environment and the necessary privacy), the transparent shell outset showed significant problems in sustainability of buildings. The buildings overheat in summer when in winter, the heat losses of the shell made buildings with great transparency problematic for the living of the user.
Science steadily tries to eliminate these problems having progressed with improved materials (high performance glazing with high U value glass) or through the incorporation of shading systems. As a result of the efforts to meliorate the sustainability of buildings, horizontal or vertical elements, mostly, began to decorate the shell of the buildings with aesthetically pleasing results in the majority of cases. Furthermore, internal blinds and grids will appear for the same purpose. Moreover, the development of digital media affects architecture, offering the potential for further development of the shell to unexplored levels, until recently. New architectural forms appear while the concept of pattern is redefined. It is a fact that both bioclimatic architecture, through solutions like shading, and evolving digital architecture through the creation of dynamic forms are areas of great interest. Sizable blinds are designed to meet the energy requirements of buildings or sometimes simply for aesthetic purposes. Parametric patterns are created through complex algorithms based on different criteria or sometimes simply in pursuit of sensationalism. But what about the inner sense of the user?
This question is at the core of this research which focuses on the analysis of the parameters affecting the perceived experience of the user, but also, in search of an ideal balance between sustainable and aesthetically acceptable. The main factors that determine these preferences are sociocultural, psychological and functional. These are further analyzed in the aesthetic part (shape, material, color), sense of space, and ensuring the comfort conditions (thermal, acoustic, visual). Also, there is a reference to existing architectural and technological developments that are on the verge of widespread use. Finally, different shading systems are examined through a series of experiments, based on photometric data using HDR photography and digital software Photosphere, having the quest of user preferences based on a random sample of individuals, as the ultimate goal.