Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition
Artist Team: Evan Wakelin, Christopher Tron, Sylvia Zhou
Artist Location: Toronto, Canada
Energy Technologies: micro wind turbines driven by the solar thermal expansion of air
Rør is an inflatable, pneumatic public art park that harnesses solar energy and invites visitors to actively participate in the generation of power. The greater the level of physical interaction with the structures, the more energy is generated. Using a lighthearted and lightweight approach, the multi-colored pneumatic tube park is a fun celebration of the environment, challenging the public to take a positive stance toward the pressing issues of climate change.
Climate change research estimates that Copenhagen will face increased and prolonged heat waves in the future as well as heavier rainfall. Rør responds to these future trends by covering only 10 percent of the existing green space to minimize heat island effect and to absorb all rainfall on site.
Rør takes advantage of future heat waves by using solar radiation as its primary power source. Its autonomous pneumatic structures generate energy through solar radiation and human interaction. This energy is harnessed using solar updraft tower technology, but rather than transfer heated air to centralized turbines, Rør incorporates an array of smaller turbines over the surface of the tubes. As visitors add their weight to the tubes, it increases the rate of escaping air through the micro turbines.
The lightweight pneumatic tubes are easily moveable and the arrangement of the tubes are determined by the activities and requirements of the people—the visitors have complete control over how to create and inhabit the space and are free to roll and rearrange the tubes to create new and unique spaces. The resulting pockets of space and pathways provide opportunities for community engagement, moments of play, and exploration.
Because Rør is a dynamic energy installation that can transform on demand, each visit to the park will be a new experience.