· October 2010

October 2010

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Boulos Douaihy
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.

land art generator
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Our installation is a celebration of the sun’s “aura” on earth. It emphasizes the sun’s cycle during the day and year and quantifies and shows the energy produced by sunlight.

A forest of metallic geodesic spheres with a photovoltaic hemisphere rotate on their axis following the movement of the sun during the day, collecting sunlight and transforming it into electricity stocked in underground batteries, allowing their rotation.

land art generator

The energy collected during the day will be exposed during the night through light emitted from the same photovoltaic hemisphere. The more energy collected, the more the light is intense. Summer nights being the most lit.

The spheres start the day by welcoming the first sunrays at dawn and follow the sun’s path becoming self-sufficient sun watches. During the night, the spheres become lit crescents seen from afar, indicating the night time.

land art generator

The Moon and the Sea

Our installation emphasizes the effect of the sun and moon on the sea by exaggerating the tide’s action on the shore’s outline.

The land, bound by the highway on one side and open to the sea on the other, is topographically manipulated to form mounds of different levels creating platforms hosting the spheres and disappearing into the sea.

As the tide goes up, the water surrounding the mounds create islands of variables sizes and shapes, continuously changing the shore line and putting the “photovoltaic spheres” in different situations.

land art generator

Sun Islands

Visitors to the “sun islands” can examine the spheres from the highway or can go island hopping and experience the different outlines created by the tide.

During the day, the spheres create shaded spaces allowing for potential camping or picnic spots. During the night, the spheres light up the park , where different activities can take place: jogging, music festivals, stars watching etc…

land art generator

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Sarah Lahti, Dr. Colin Christy, and Ulugmruod Ergashev
Designed for Site #1 in Dubai, near Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
This design is based on the idea of viewing. As such, the top of the living sculpture/building has two “eyes”, that are active solar panels, which seem to “watch” the sun as it moves through the sky. The entire exterior of the structure, its “skin”, is coated with a semi-transparent, passive solar cell film, in addition to an insular film. As well, rows of solar cells and wind turbines have been placed on the ground next to the building. See www.kyosemi.co.jp, www.spectrolab.com, and www.windenergy.com for more details. A small covered car parking lot is to be built near existing parking facilities.

The first floor of the building is open to the public, and is wheelchair accessible.

The second floor of the building is a laboratory facility and on-site offices for up to eight scientists, and is closed to the public.

The site produces not only enough electricity to cover all its electrical needs (mainly air conditioning of the building), but feeds excess electricity back into the existing DEWA outlet shown here. During evening or necessary peak hours when extra electricity is needed, it is pulled from the existing DEWA outlet, as this is NOT proposed to be an energy storage facility. However, on balance, this building is adding electricity to the grid, as calculated on an annual or monthly basis.

The first floor of this building contains a CCTV, remote, bird-viewing area for the public. Visitors are encouraged to relax, maybe get a snack, put on a pair of headphones, flip through the channels on the tall stack of ultra-low voltage monitors, and see what the different birds are up to at the different locations throughout the entire park. The first floor is designed to be a quiet, contemplative place to soak in the overall beauty of the park.

The first floor also features a specialty bookshop and browsing area. The following areas of interest are included in the titles: the specific species of birds in the park, environmental issues in general, the environment in the UAE, and Gulf region, and energy sustainability books. Arabic and English titles included. A portion of sales goes toward the maintenance and conservation of the park itself.

The flooring in this building generates electricity when people step on its individual panels. See www.sustainabledancefloor.com for more details. Throughout the interior and exterior of this building, informative, accessible, and educational signage exists, in English and Arabic, to explain the energy sustainability features included on this site.

Every effort is made to source the majority of the building materials and furnishings locally, to avoid transportation-based carbon emissions, from, for example, flying materials in from abroad. Thought is given as well to the specific
materials and processes used in each furnishing choice.

The second floor of this building contains facilities to accommodate up to eight scientists’ office spaces. There are individual offices, as well as two communal sitting/meeting areas on this floor. The motif of natural light, and the strong visual interior/exterior relationship prominent on the first floor have been extended to the second floor. Every accommodation has been made to make these offices very comfortable and enjoyable for the people doing research full-time at this on-site lab facility.

A few notes on the impact upon the existing site of this project:

All construction solely exists within the buffer zone of the park. NOTHING extends into the park itself. As pictured here, the building will be constructed near existing power outlet, and nothing will be disturbed anywhere else on the entire plot. Care will be taken to sync construction of building with the birds’ seasonal migratory patterns (i.e., build when the birds aren’t there).

The building does have restrooms; so proper wastewater disposal is necessary.

The building’s solar cells will have to be manually dusted off periodically.

This building does not contain a cafe or restaurant, in order to minimize electrical needs; however a vending machine with healthy choices is included in the building design.

The center has been kept relatively intimate in scale, to accommodate roughly the same number of visitors that currently visit the park, and to be realistically built within the existing buffer zone. The fewer the visitors, the less disturbed the birds in the park will be.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Egal Center

Celestino Sebastiao
Designed for Site #3 in Abu Dhabi, on Airport Road near Masdar City.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
The vision is centered on integrating multi disciplinary fields knowledge to explain conceptual principles of design for a nature friendly power station that employs gravitational force to generate large-scale electricity (760 megawatts / peak).

Sustainable Architecture and Art – Precepts taken in consideration for site selection are related to specific constrains when analyzing features of urban development and consolidation, spatial distribution and specific characteristics of public services and equipments. In terms of impact on nature, a specific desk assessment has been carried out for each proposed site based on land utilization, impact on local fauna and flora, underground water disturbance and changes on wind flow. The proposed building footprint is a result of a study of United Arab Emirates traditional architecture of Forts and Mosques also its unique landscape features namely desert dunes. Therefore, three-separated irregular curvilinear type of structurally disintegrated solids has been adopted for the proposed building ground floor plan set up. However, a basement floor area, an outdoor public terrace located on the first floor, and finally a common roof element, interconnects these solids. The combination of built and empty roofed outdoor public spaces allows for the provision of shading areas on which natural ventilation will be taken into the building also allowing for daylight use. Finally, this strategy will help with the migration movement of birds nesting on the edge perimeter green buffer zone that will be protected integrally although detailed study on underground water disturbance may necessary as to assess any constrain caused by the proposed basement area. The proposed sculptural center will be spatially organized in the following manner:

A) Access restricted basement area to house industrial generators, the rotation system, and high voltage transformers, connection cabling equipment connecting to local power grid.

B) Ground floor area composed by 2no gravitational field spaces on which the solid bouncing displacement or gravitational tubes are installed and concealed on lattice structural elements. Postmodernism art galley area for public to contemplate the complexity of bouncing solid displacement along gravitational tubes based on stability of space objects which are used as force to generated large-scale electrical power. This floor will be built in structural masonry walling system with optimized opening and finished accordingly so to provide a clear barrier between outside and inside spaces.

C) First floor area with the same space arrangement from the floor below and composed mainly by a void space formed by gravitational fields in continuation from ground floor area. Learning facilities, management and technical control rooms and dedicated welfare areas finally, public outdoor panoramic terrace.

Geometrically, this floor is designed through orthogonal section of cones built using steel frame structures, which loads on ground floor structural walling system. These towers will be internally finished with frameless curtain walling system with opening units so to form a thermally controlled interior space and externally will be sculptured using a system of vertical repeated waved sun shading elements which design is inspired by the bending of Egal ropes also optimized through profitable variation, an important aspect of natural selection process.

Gravitational Field. Firstly, the term gravitational field is used in this context to designate the entire system composed by singular gravitational tubes assembled at a specific space, therefore, the proposed power station will contain two separated gravitational fields. Secondly, gravitational tube is designed to produce force by displacing up and down a homogeneous solid along a gravitational axis. The massbouncing solid is submitted under three basic quantum mechanics law:

1) Law of Equilibrium (static condition) Newton’s third law F1=F2, F1+F2=0

2) Law of gravity (moving down) Newton’s second law F=ma

3) Law of elasticity (bouncing up) Robert Hooke’s law F=k.x (series and parallel equation for forces acting along springs)

To maintain a self constant solid displacement along a gravitational vector, a system of acceleration valves are designed to help the system to regenerate its own momentum hence a series of displacement state can be written in this way:

a) Initial displacement (2 ➔ 3 ➔ 1 ➔

b) Auto regulated bouncing displacement (➔1 ➔ 2 ➔ 3 ➔

The stage 1 will be obtained through the design and diagram of forces acting along acceleration valves components, which will allow for a temporary decrease of acceleration in a period of time in between 5 to 10 sec. The bouncing gravitational system will be formed or constructed with the following components:

1) Supporting steel shell structure
2) Upper chamber with releasing and stopping devices connected to expanding holding encapsulated torus chain connected to spiral hairspring boxes and the displacement solid.
3) Stabilization box with tension spring to provide weight displacement with homogenous type of movement and help regulating the speed.
4) Bouncing solid or weight with a properly designated mass in kg will produce force used to rotate an electrical generator turbine.
5) Displacement axis or gear bar connected to the bouncing solid and used to direct the generated force to articulation lever arm located at rotation and torque box.
6) Tension box with impacting head and multiple spring coils arranged in discs and displaced in parallel (keq=k1=k2) and series (1/keg=1/k1+1/k2) patterns.
7) Rotation and Torque Box (r=r.f) to house the rotation torque that converts vertical force into rotation force applied on the rotation of a wheel system attached to an electrical generator blade through a chain system.

The design principles will consider the value of 760 megawatts/peak of electrical power production for future mathematical and physic modelling of gravitational tubes (76no gravitational fields x 2no generators of 5 megawatts capacity for each tube).

However, flexibility factors will be considerate as data for required amount of power should be provided by concerned authorities rather than being imposed by design limitations.

Development. The proposed sculptural power station is a result of interconnecting collaborative fields of knowledge with the intent of building world first conversion of force produced by stability of space objects along a gravitational field into a specific required amount of needed electrical power.

Therefore, overcoming issues related to storage or lack of enough force to produce the required amount of power as it has been happening with other forms of renewable sources. These factors allows the system to be universally valid without compromising its performance due to geography, time of the day and weather conditions. Further, the concept opts for versatility as it bases its design on single independent unit working to form a flexible and expanding system. Egal center will be an art installation that uses its bouncing system as asset for establishing an advance postmodernism art gallery and learning facilities dedicated to innovative ideas of applying scientific knowledge to resolve mankind needs and will be also make a positive contribution on the strategy of opting for a type of architecture that is a result of adaptive approach rather than the importation of archetypes.

Finally, we appreciated the initiative and used it as conceptual experimentation fusing different aspects of technological innovation which may leads for an efficient kind of sustainable development concentrated on providing the humanity with the next stage of freedom and security which comes with the feeling of saving our unique and only habitat, the Earth. It is more than the freedom experienced with the invention of aircraft.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Static Motion

Sherri J. Newman and Jen Earle
Designed for Site #3 in Abu Dhabi, on Airport Road near Masdar City.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
The concept for our land art generator is a response to the conditions of its environment. This was accomplished through site movement and patterns, local climate, and cultural geometry.

The viewing platform for the Land Art Generator will take place from the frame of a window, as local Abu Dhabi citizens and tourists circulate around the site. The movement, both by highway and airplane traffic from Abu Dhabi’s International Airport informed the design of the structure with the intention of conveying a sense of motion from within a static object. The subject would view the sculpture from the reference point of a car or airplane window and as the viewer rotates around the object varying perspectives are produced from different angles and in three dimensions.

Smart textiles are layered over the sculpture as a temperature sensitive skin accomplished by thermochromic dyes. As the ambient air temperature and light intensity change throughout the course of the day, the textile would vary in color and effectively act as both a visual thermometer and indictor of how much solar activity is being collected by the installation, giving a visual tangibility and aesthetic quality to clean energy consumption. Responsive textiles allow for environmental readings that will engage citizens.

The underlying geometry of the form is based on tangents, utilizing the cultural significance of triangles in Islamic architecture. An organic form emerged from this geometry, by patterning catenary curves around tangent points. Finally, the pattern used to layer soft PVCs onto the textile was inspired by the texture of date fields surrounding the site; evident from aerial views.

The lightweight, tensile design allows for minimal environmental impact, and a chance to present solar energy to a new generation of consumers.

The island,
carved by the machine,
fluid lines of the outer shell display the dynamic force,
motion contains the object,
Impenetrable boundary.

Nature maintains the periphery,
Containing from within,
The vastness of the island.

The object,
Engaging,
contained at rest,
invites the subject,
into motion.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Michal Teague and David Moore
Designed for Site #3 in Abu Dhabi, on Airport Road near Masdar City.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Sunset (running on empty) is a counter monument heralding the sunset of the era of petrol-based car culture. It comprises a purpose made video artwork shown in a replica installation of the iconic drive-in cinema, featuring a large screen, advertising marquee and car park that is the electricity-generating component of the design. The video artwork is a temporal-based narrative depicting a car driven continuously until the petrol tank runs dry. The car will remain permanently parked in the middle of the renewable energy generating ‘car park.’

The drive–in cinema is an icon of the 20th century. Sunset (running on empty) acts as a counter-monument marking the sunset of large petrol-guzzling cars. A drive-in cinema is an artefact from a carefree era, before knowledge of climate change and the finite nature of carbon-based resources.

The word ‘Sunset’ refers to the end of the day, and the inevitability of change, it is also commonly used to describe an era that is coming to a close, as well as being a popular name during the heyday of the drive-in cinema.

The drive-in cinema initially seems deliberately out of context in the UAE. A nostalgic folly from another time and place. However, it speaks to the global and interrelated nature of the need to adopt clean and renewable energy sources.

Drive-in cinemas were traditionally sited on the outskirts of a city with easy access to a main roadway similar to the conditions existing at Site 3 Abu Dhabi. The advent of the VCR and increasing land value, meant that many have now become shopping centres and housing developments. The drive-in like oil is becoming scarcer, there now being only 700 odd left in the world.

Video installation–a car is filled with petrol then starts its final drive in and around Abu Dhabi. The drive is documented until the petrol is finally used up, eventually coming to rest at its final parking site the Sunset drive-in cinema.

Screen – known in the original vernacular as a ‘sheet.’A large outdoor screen powered by an open solar field. It is envisaged the screen will be placed in a westerly direction on site, approximating where the sunsets.

Marquee–an illuminated sign advertising the session times of the film ‘Running on Empty’ to people passing the site.The title can be interpreted literally as referring to the fuel gauge of a car and more broadly fossil fuels becoming scarcer. Additionally nuance comes from the two ‘coming of age’ genre films both titled ‘Running On Empty’. An Australian film made in 1982 featuring a young man involved in street drag racing and a 1988 U.S. production about a fugitive family on the run from the FBI and the eldest son seeking to live a life of his own.

Parked car – the ordinary car is permanently parked on site in the midst of the electricity-generating field after featuring in the video production.

Ramps– a replica of a Drive-in Cinema car parking area laid in a fan-shape. Rather than the more traditional material of asphalt it will be anelectricity-generatingfield with the solitary car, mutely watching itself on screen.

Option A: The preferred technological option for this component of the installation is to use Solar Roadway technology currently undergoing prototyping in the U.S. Having communicated with the developers full-production is probably 2 years off. However it would provide the option of the audience being able to safely walk or even drive on the electricity-generating surface. The product can also have LED lights embedded to create patterns, images and text. In respect to dust and sand, it will be able to be cleaned when required using a street sweeper.

Option B: a ‘car ramp’ formed by a black field of currently commercially available photovoltaic solar panels.

The dominant features of Site 3 Abu Dhabi – Airport Road near the Masdar City Site, are the surrounding roadways that delineate its boundary. The art installation foregrounds the role of the car and human behaviours, which influence the site, just as much as the naturally occurring phenomena – wind, sun, wildlife, vegetation, and occasionally water. In this way, the drive-in cinema installation is truthfully integrated into the surrounding environment and landscape.

The solar electricity-generating field will cause minimal interference with the ground of the site. The natural vegetation of the site would be permitted to grow in and around the art installation to enhance the feeling of it being an abandoned place from another time.He design uses a portion rather than the whole site.

Solar roadway 300 panels would generate 2.28MWhr – based on 15 % efficiency and a conservative 4 hours of sun per day. While 500 panels would produce an estimated 3.8MWhr.

The project design aims to be accessible to pedestrian foot traffic. With the solar roadway technology there is the potential for it to become a playground for the public. This would occur by using the embedded LED lighting to create games and maze designs for example.

The screen and car park ramps have the potential to become part of the public infrastructure of Abu Dhabi becoming a site to stage events and to screen the work of video artists during film and arts festivals rather than a static art installation.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Khoury Levit Fong
Robert Levit, Rodolphe el-Khoury, James Dixon, Lindsay Hochman, Khalid al Nasser, Melissa Lui
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
A constructed dunescape…with southern slopes of mirror-bright polished stone, lifts towards the sun. Concave eye-shaped surfaces reflect light upon pipelines, superheating their liquid contents and powering electricity generating steam turbines housed beneath their crests.

A rich pattern of mirrored eyes luminous with the sun by day and shifting patterns of LEDs by night . . . the dunescape blinks.

Solar Dunes adapts the machinery of solar powered steam generated electricity. But, here the machinic array of mirror-like surfaces is bound up in a topographical form: the dunescape.

The machine does not sit in nature as it once did (factories in the landscape), but neither does nature camouflage the machine and its detritus. Here the dunes look natural but are a work of geometry and artifice. And the polished mirrors, the piping and its supports interpose within the forms of the dunescape an element of even more obvious artifice. Taken together, the dunes and mirrors create a challenging equivocation between the natural and the artificial. The eye-like surfaces blinking in the dunescape uncannily animate the inanimate –the prosthetic quality of machinery that reproduces qualities of the body is now writ into the field of a technical landscape. The ecologically sound solar production of electrical energy is bound up in a newly conceived esthetic of landscape.

These dunes are built and stabilized: an open mat of concrete, mostly below the surface, holds their form and patterns their surface. Concrete ribs and planks form the substrate for the parabolic curvature of the mirrored surfaces. These may be of polished stone or metal as budget and performance criteria permit. The dunes rise and subside, making for a richly varied array of forms, both to look at and to occupy. Under several of the larger dunes –over ten meters in height—powerful electrical turbines will be housed. Pipes onto which the mirror surfaces reflect intense light, will carry superheated liquid to drive the electricity-generating turbines.

The solar dunescape –artificially patterned, scintillating day and night, is designed to be apprehended at different speeds, at different scales and in different media. Experienced on foot it is an immersive landscape between highway and water. The dunes, large in scale, are a park. From the northern edge, by the water, they hide their technical apparatus, and appear as somewhat excessively regular sand dune landscape. Seen from a speeding car, the patterned surfaces come into view stretched along the horizon at the speed of a blink. From an airplane, the pattern of the dunes takes on an iconic character: a logo-in-the-land identified with ecological solarpower generation and the esthetic re-conception of an industrial landscape. On a computer screen the site is patterned at a scale that is visible on Google Earth and establishes itself as logo-scape linked to the innovative synthesis of sustainable power generation and art to be established here in the UAE.

By night Solar Dunes turns into an informational ornament. The trajectory of air travel between Abu Dhabi and international destinations is mapped as trailing light patterns upon the mirrors of the dunes. LEDs embedded at the foot of each mirror brighten and dim set by the arrivals and departures from Abu Dhabi International Airport. This pattern of light-play treats information as ornament. Animated patterns are generated by the cosmopolitan globalized circumstances of life in Abu Dhabi. The pattern of lights of this energy landscape may be, in turn, used as a logo in a variety of sites: as a luminous floor pattern of the Abu Dhabi airport ticket concourse, as a screen ornament app in iPhone, as a splash screen for Emirates airlines, and elsewhere. . . This image of the new electrical landscape will be an emblem of a convergence: between sustainable energy production and environmental art.

Solar Dunes uses a conventional energy generating strategy in an unusual manner. Mirrored arrays have been used in numerous locations to melt salt, which is then pumped to steam turbines where it vaporizes the water used to drive the turbine. In our proposal we have considered two possibilities. First, a lower tech use of polished stone and a heated liquid such as glycol to produce steam. Such materials require less maintenance and are more compatible with the use of Solar Dunes as a park. The second option is that the mirrors be more conventionally machined metal mirrors—producing a maximum of heat and thus electrical power.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Barker Freeman Design Office
Alexandra Barker, Reid Freeman, Walter Shih, Michelle Nicholls, Scott Savage, and Lauren DeMattia
Designed for Site #1 in Dubai, near Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

Land Art Generator Initiative
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s Descriptive Text
Our project seeks to bring to the forefront the incredible potential for natural resources to produce energy and fuel through processes that minimize their impact on the environment. Our intervention aims to generate a spatially and chromatically variegated landscape that endeavors to engage, protect, and even restore the natural biodiversity of native plants and animals. The proposal is organized as layered fields of photoresponsive energy generation systems that are also iridescent, phosphorescent surfaces intersected by a system of viewing platforms.

Our strategy employs local, renewable materials and resources—native algae and vegetation, recycled glass and low-tech methods of construction—to reshape the existing site into a colorful textured landscape. Modular solar collectors with parabolic trough mirrors and lightweight composite structures are made of a high quantity of recycled content. The units are designed and configured in accordance with leading examples of solar electric generation systems that successfully operate in North American desert environments. The components are then layered with iridescent coatings that reflect different fragments of the visible light spectrum. Observation towers constructed of the same material are fitted with convex mirrored reflectors to present views of the landscape on the ground and shaded viewing platforms to enable visitors to birdwatch and to observe the iridescent landscape and surrounding cityscape from an elevated vantage point.

Land Art Generator Initiative

Algae Farm: A system of open saltwater ponds supports the growth of algae for biofuel production. Oils are extracted from the algae and converted to biofuel via photosynthesis, with a per-acre optimal yield of up to 10,000 gallons of oil per acre. The carbohydrate content in algae can be fermented into bioethanol and biobutanol. The north edges of the ponds are formed by retaining walls with niches for bird nests, while the south edges slope up to grade. Sandbag berms subdivide the ponds into smaller populations of algae to allow for greater control, better maintenance, and more variety of algae species to capitalize on the varied visual effects they produce in response to light. The open algae pond system is also intended as a means to attract bird species to support the goal of attracting and engaging the adjacent wildlife sanctuary.

Mogul Field: The Power Station, Algae Processing Center and Visitors Center are embedded in the mogul berms toward the south that also conceal traffic and industrial park from view. The moguls begin at the southern edge of the site and gradually invert to become ponds as the pattern moves north. The shoreline is elongated and wrapped into the interior of the site to interlock the water and land together.

Chromatic Phosphorescent Waterscape: Different species of algae produce different spectacular colors, and some species have phosphorescent properties that allow them to emit light at night. Water jets would be embedded to spray the pond surface to produce phosphorescent effects after dark.

Land Art Generator Initiative

Solar Energy Collection System: Our proposed collection system is derived from solar energy generating systems (SEGS), a series of parabolic trough power plants in the Mojave desert at Kramer Junction, California, where solar collectors focus sun rays on an oil-filled heat transfer tube network that transports the energy to an onsite power conversion subsystem. The one we are using as a precedent is about 230,000 square meters and produces about 150 megawatts of electricity at optimum operating conditions.

Iridescent Field: The reflectors are configured as parabolic sections that are paired and broken at one-third their length into two sections. The two sections vary height and angle to respond to requirements for views and shading, but primarily maintain the optimal 20 degree angle for solar collection. The reflector surface is coated with thermochromic microcapsules derived from Hypercolor technology that change color depending on temperature to broadcast “hot spots” of energy collection when viewed from above, while phosphorescent paint will allow the surface to emit a glow at night. The reflector structure is coated with Chromaflair that changes color as one moves along it. Chromaflair is comprised of flakes applied in layers of aluminum and chromium that act like a prism, interfering with the refraction of light to produce color effects. The reflector structure is to be constructed as a carbon fiber composite or alternatively steel or aluminum. The joint between the larger and smaller reflector supports has an oval bolt hole that creates a slip joint, allowing each component to translate and rotate in a limited range of motion.

Land Art Generator Initiative

Bird Hide: The reflector structures are distributed along a series of control lines that follow paths through the site. The components translate and rotate to frame views of the city and the adjacent sanctuary. They also generate a bird hide and blind system for wildlife observation that obscures observers from detection.

VIEWING PLATFORMS
The viewing platforms are tiered fabric-covered raked platforms that afford the visitor the ability to see the polychromatic and phosphorescent effects of the solar field and algae ponds and the spectacular cityscape beyond. The platforms are supported by a network of crossing angled carbon fiber members and are reachable by a winding stair. The structure is clad with angled parabolic mirrored panels with a convex orientation that reflect the surrounding landscape down to visitors on the ground. The panels are attached at two points so they have the ability to pivot in response to wind. They are perforated as they reach the top of the structure and become guardrails for the platforms.

Land Art Generator Initiative

The environment for the proposed algae farm is ideal. Algae is naturally occurring in the climate of Dubai and is typically seen as harmful to fish and plants, although it is a staple of the flamingo’s diet. The algae ponds will be controlled and separated from the Dubai Creek by a series of concrete retaining walls and recycled-glass-filled-sandbag berms that will encourage the growth of native vegetation. This constructed groundscape should provide an appealing source of food that encourages the local waterfowl to mate and nest. Bird hides lining the northern edges of the ponds and dispersed viewing platforms are designed to conceal watching tourists from the view of the birds.

Land Art Generator Initiative

The climate of Dubai is humid subtropical, with extremely hot, windy and dry summers of an average high around 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The high levels of insolation in this region and the site’s proximity to major urban areas make this a prime location for solar energy harvesting. The reflector system we are proposing was developed for a very similar climate and has proven to be a highly efficient technology with a capacity factor of 21% with minimal impact on the site, producing virtually no emissions, and consuming no fuel other than sunlight.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Osmotic Loop

Sophie Panzer
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Osmosis is a physical process, in which water moves across a semi-permeable membrane from an area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration due to the tendency to equalize the concentration on both sides

Osmotic power or salinity gradient power is the energy available from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and fresh water.

The underlying principle of the here proposed environmental art project is the phenomenon of osmosis and the possibility to use this natural process for energy generation. The design invites people to visit the unique landscape between Yas and Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi and to get introduced to a new clean energy production method: osmotic power generation.

The design is a sequence of interwoven loops that form together the osmotic power plant. Each loop has its specific task and position within the system:
The outer ring is an elevated viewing platform for visitors. From the shore just off the road that connects Yas Island and Saadiyat Island the loop with a diameter of 100 meters rises up to 6 meters above sea level and guides the visitors around the osmotic power plant. The viewing platform is a light steel construction with a minimal footprint that reaches like a pier into the water.

The next loop is a seawater basin that is connected to the open sea and therefore in constant movement. Due to a relatively shallow shoreline it is necessary to excavate the seawater loop to reach the required depth.

The loop of seawater surrounds a circular tank with a width of 3 meters in which the process of osmosis takes place. The tank consists of a semi-permeable membrane at the outer wall, a chamber for water with a high degree of salinity and in the top turbines that generate power.

The inner loop of the proposed structure is a salt lake. Via controllable feedings seawater is diverted into the inner loop. The seawater here is stagnant. Through evaporation caused by the sun the inner loop transforms into a salt lake. The water in the salt lake has a higher salt concentration than the surrounding seawater.

The geometrical arrangement of the interwoven loops -each of them with its specific position, color, texture and function- form an alien shape in the landscape of Abu Dhabi. It shall attract people and stimulate their curiosity to explore the Osmotic Loop at close range. Once inside the Osmotic Loop people will become aware of a natural phenomenon that has the potential to contribute to the mitigation of climate change.

The seawater in the outer loop has a lower salt concentration than the water in the inner loop, the salt lake. The seawater in the inner loop is stagnant and due to evaporation a salt lake occurs. The tank is filled with water from the salt lake. Via a semi-permeable membrane water enters the tank because of its tendency to equal the difference in concentration. This process is called osmosis and the basic principle of the proposed power plant. As a consequence the water level and the pressure increases in the tank. When the maximum pressure is reached valves are opened and the water escapes from the tank and activates the turbines that generate power.

Pressure and water level decrease in the tank. New salty water from the salt lake will be filled in the tank and the process can start again. Underneath the tank are two controlled locks that connect salt lake and seawater loop. The salt lake has to be supplied with seawater to prevent the drying-up and to keep the water level constant.
Water escapes every eight minutes from the tank with high pressure like the breath of a living organism, forming a fresh fog around the inner of the Osmotic Loop, providing the visitors with a cool breeze.

Background
The enormous potential of power generation through the natural process of osmosis is indisputable. But efficient and profitable osmotic power plants that can be installed on a global scale are still being tested and developed. Energy supplier Statkraft has now built the first prototype in Norway with an installed power of 10 kW. The ambition is to build a full-scale osmotic power plant with 25 MW in 2015. (www.statkraft.com)

The prototype in Norway uses the local condition of a river that flows into the ocean. In this situation the two important components -water with a low degree of salinity and water with a high degree of salinity are given.

Osmotic Power in Abu Dhabi
In the case of the Osmotic Loop in Abu Dhabi the difference in salinity has to be generated first – through the power of the sun, which is available throughout the year- before it can be used in the power plant.

The proposed environmental art project is to be understood as a prototype that demonstrates the natural process of osmosis and makes people aware of its potential for energy production. The power generation in the Osmotic Loop is minor at the moment. It needs further investigation to bring the Osmotic Loop to an efficient level.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Hybrid Ecology

Andrew Snow, Ryan Nelson, and Houtan Pour-Tavakoli
Designed for Site #1 in Dubai, near Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

Land Art Generator Initiative
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
The “Hybrid Ecology” proposal presents itself as a hybrid ecosystem, blurring the line between nature and artifice. An artificial environment is created to intensify the natural landscape over time and fully integrate the Land Art competition with the existing Ras Al Khor Sanctuary.

The project consists of a boardwalk meandering through a forest of super-scaled artificial plant-like objects, interspersed with sea water greenhouses that intensify the nature of the site. This obvious division between real and fake, inside and out is blurred as the artificial flora provide a great deal of very natural functions; they are the framework that supports plants started in the greenhouse, some plants act as information screens, other are bird hides, bird nests and feeding stations, and still others are equipped with solar panels that collect energy to provide glowing light throughout the night. The end result is a hybrid ecology that employs intensely artificial means to achieve a natural environment that is both familiar and alien.

Land Art Generator Initiative

“Hybrid Ecology” is a piece that will change from day to night, from season to season, and year to year, thus allowing viewers to return multiple times and experience the site differently each time. Spheres resting on their plant-like pedestals will collect excess energy from solar panels throughout the day, and use it during the night, allowing them to slightly rise and pulsate with light. Also, the plants in the greenhouse will eventually mature to the point where they can be transferred outside to grow on and around the artificial plant-like forms. In the beginning, an ecologically alien scenario will exist but, in time, native flora and fauna will “bind” to the site, resulting in a dynamic piece that warrants multiple visits.

The proposal refuses to perpetuate the excessive consumption of energy not only by local area residents, but by all of the first world. Instead of allowing this to continue with the provision of a new source of energy, it aims to prove that small-scale techniques can be used to provide energy for one’s own needs.

Land Art Generator Initiative

Similarly to the recent project in Oman, Hybrid Ecology uses sea water greenhouses to aid plant growth in the extreme desert climate. The premise is fairly simple. Energy is gathered from an array of concentrated solar panels (CSP’s). The energy collected from the CSP’s gets transferred to the four sea water greenhouses (the excess energy goes to the artificial flora). This energy gets used to intake nearby sea water and condenses it into fresh water, in the process creating a micro-climate suitable for growing crops. The greenhouses have been calculated to ideally produce 6.25L of fresh water/day/m3. The waste brine from this procedure is transferred to a recycling plant where it is turned mostly into gypsum, table salt and more fresh water. The greenhouses are envisioned as a rich tapestry of densified biodiversity, full of native flora and fauna, including an animal rescue centre housed in the final structure.

Land Art Generator Initiative

Hybrid Ecology is the complete integration of art, energy production and nature into a piece of work that transcends classification and becomes a place where nature and artifice combine to form the super-natural.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Lukasz Gawlas and Krzysztof Leszczynski
Designed for Site #1 in Dubai, near Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

Land Art Generator Initiative
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
THE GRID: girih tiles
Looking back in time to art and architecture of Arab World, it’s hard not to see their close connection with geometry. Highly developed mathematics must have impressed other fields in many ways. Geometry as a graphic representation of mathematics ruled the architectural form and ornamentation. The latter was usually based on hexagonal or octagonal grid which defined periodic tessellated patterns able to cover entire walls with repetitive motives. However, the real turning point came with decagonal grid, which made it possible to generate aperiodic tessellated patterns. This ornamentation system, composed of a few types of tiles, called girih tiles, creates in fact the pattern of ‘regular irregularity’. Moreover, girih tiles behave in a way that fractals do. The composition of tiles in particular scale can create the same types in a large scale.

Land Art Generator Initiative

THE MASHRABIYA CLOUD
The mesh is spanned between rare columns. The wires follow decagonal grid and bears girih tiles shaped photovoltaic panels. Panels are disposed in strict geometry, as geometry was never abandoned by founders and ancestors of this place. During a ramble under this geometrical ceiling the shadow intensity changes. From nearly full sunlit towards deep shadows, where the Sun put only glimpses of scattered light and invokes mashrabiya motives.

The whole structure is floating above the desert in motionless, suspended state. The hovered man-made cloud gives shadow and asylum from omnipresent sunlight.

THE LAND ART MOSAIC
Under the shade of aerial structure, the ground level is organized upon the same decagonal grid with landscape elements attached to it. Communication and the canals follow girih tiles geometry. Also positions of landscape elements like water towers, commercial center, athletic stadium, and amphitheatre all result from using the grid.

There is a wide span of landscape types on the site. Predominant element is the desert type natural landscape interweaved with desert vegetation areas. It represents the strict life limitations. On the other hand, there is a water flow on the site and all the vivid commercial and leisure elements that are true catalysts of life. The juxtaposition of these different types creates the tension on the area and breaks the monotony of the desert. The land art mosaic is created.

Land Art Generator Initiative

WATER TOWERS
Four slender towers exceed above the height of the photovoltaic carpet. Prevailing over the vicinity, they emphasize the role they play in power plant installations.
Water towers are in fact the pump-storage hydroelectricity capable of storing electric power created by photovoltaics. They return electric energy when photovoltaics stop to create it.

During towers daily cycle, thousand of liters travel from the top tank towards the water reservoir underneath and back. All ground level water reservoirs are connected by canals. They are deep and narrow to avoid excessive evaporation. The water reservoirs and canals are connected with the bay creating communicated vessels system.

The primary aim of water towers is storing the electrical power. Nevertheless, as they use water for this purpose, they produce water current that makes the water in the canals flow. This is used to create whitewater course. At the top of each tower a viewing platform is located.

The construction of the towers is based on hyperboloid structures, which are characterized by high strength and low material use.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Diatom Project

Thomas Laureyssens
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
The Diatom Project pays homage to the species of algae that generated crude oil, the most important source of energy for our society today. The installation consists of one or more sculptures of an enlarged diatom stone fossil placed on the desert sand. Part of the diatom consists of shaped solar cells, making it an energy producing sculpture. By adding this green technology, this work marks the beginning of an era where renewable forms of energy offer alternatives that are in balance with nature.

Diatoms are a major group of unicellular algae found in marine and fresh waters as well as damp soils. This microscopic life is part of the elementary basis of the food chain. Powering themselves on photosynthesis, they are encased within an often geometrically patterned cell wall of silica (silicon oxide) called a frustule. Fossil diatoms have been discovered which date from the early Jurassic (185 million years ago), but evidence suggests an origin of approximately 250 million years ago, making diatoms one of the oldest living beings on this planet. Many scientists agree that diatoms might have been the main source of crude oil. This species thus not only supplies generously to todays food chain, our modern human society is dependent on their family heritage as well.

The enlargement of a diatom to a large shape (± 3 meters, depending on the budgetary possibilities), becomes a kind of homage or monument to show respect to this species. The basis of the installation is a large ‘fossilized’ diatom carved out a local Abu Dhabi / Dubai stone by a CNC machine. No definite design for the artwork is suggested. Instead this is a proposal for a process to create a shape based on the local environment. This form comes to shape in a process that includes a collaboration of the artist with a biolab to take and analyze samples of local diatom species (e.g. Coscinodiscus sp) and producing microscopic images as well as a microscopic 3D laser scan. A selection of the species is to be made based on aesthetic criteria, production and budgetary possibilities. On top of the stone, solar cells are installed to make this a ‘functioning’ energy producing sculpture. The photovoltaic cells are shaped into organic forms by laser technology and mimics the diatoms’ photosynthetic function.

SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
The sculpture is covered by a high strenght polycarbonate cover and on the bottom it is held in place by a small concrete foundation. There should be no risk whatsoever for either public or environment. As much as possible, materials and services will be used that are close to the place of installation, as to limit transport costs and C02 emissions.

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Ryan Connolly
Studio of Associate Professor, Lisa Tilder, at the Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University
Designed for Site #1 in Dubai, near Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

Land Art Generator Initiative
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Symbiotic Ecologies are a juxtaposition of man-made and natural ecologies that will create energy beneficial to both. Visitors move into the site along boardwalks; first, over fields of fiber optic cables and then into bird filled meadows. An underground algae farm utilizes the light captured in fields of fiber optic cables to grow. When processed, its lipids are converted into biofuels that cleanly power Dubai’s built environment and its sugars are returned to the site in the form of bird feed.

In addition, natural shallow water, marsh, seacoast, and grassland habitats provide an extended home to the 7,000,000 birds that annually pass through the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. By enhancing the existing wildlife sanctuary with a new energy-generating art installation, this project seeks to become not only a global tourist destination but a model system of local energy creation and feedback, environmentally and culturally specific to the UAE.

ENERGY GENERATION
The project’s energy generating capacity relies on an underground system of algae farms. Sheltered underground, no excess environmental controls or conditioning are needed on the site to make it suitable for crop growth. Photobiotic reactors are used to grow the algae, which would be processed into biofuel and electricity. Fields of fiber optic cables on the surface of the site will collect sunlight during the day and pass it underground to the reactors. Combined with CO2 harvested from the air and waste water from Dubai, a harvest of algae can be completed in one to ten days, with a 100% yield capacity.

Algae can grow with saline water in desert conditions, produces 300x more oil than conventional crops, and grows 20-30x faster than traditional food crops. To be harvested, the algae is starved of its nutrients, separated into its constituent lipids and sugars by soaking in a solvent bath, the solvent is evaporated, and the lipids are converted into biofuels and their sugars are used as bird feed. The biofuels can be used to cleanly power Dubai and the feed is then redistributed across the site, attracting and nourishing the local and migrant bird populations of Ras Al Khor. Once its initial construction is complete, this project will coexist and symbiotically support the neighboring bird sanctuary. Truly clean energy should support Dubai’s built environment and preserve the natural environment and diversity that makes the UAE so unique.

Land Art Generator Initiative

TEMPORAL EXPERIENCE
Symbiotic Ecologies presents a seasonally changing temporal habitat, providing varying means of human and animal occupation. The northern portion of the site will be flooded by the nearby Dubai Creek, providing a year round bird sanctuary and feeding grounds. To the south, other areas of the site contain integrated fiber optics light harvesting fields and bird feeding systems. These areas will be gradually flooded in the spring and fall, with peak flooding occurring in the winter, to provide increased shallow water, marsh, seacoast, and grassland habitats for the large influx of migratory birds at this time. As more birds migrate, a larger area of the site is devoted to providing a habitat and feeding grounds. As they go, the site may revert back to generating energy for human consumption. When the habitable space for the birds increases, the area occupiable by man decreases, with certain paths only accessible during the summer, spring or autumn. People and birds co-exist in a proportional and symbiotic relationship, in occupation and energy production and consumption.

Land Art Generator Initiative

SYMBIOTIC ECOLOGIES
The fiber optic fields mimic the appearance of agricultural fields, the very impetus that allowed man to evolve, to settle in groups, and to found cities in the Fertile Crescent, not so far from Dubai. This form is fitting to propel human settlement into the post-petroleum age. As the product of intense technological planning, the optic fields present a disturbing and reassuring closeness of human intervention. As visitors plunge deeper into the site, more and more birds surround them. Technology fades away to a more comfortable, recognizable, and local ecological system. Conspicuously, it is man who is feeding and sustaining the bird populations. Visitors from around the world will identify mans’ position as primary benefactor and controller of the Earth’s resources and his/her need to maintain Earth’s diversity of species and habitats. Leaving the site, the visitor is confronted by a sea of technological melancholy. Equated, it appears as though it is possible for us to sustain ourselves and those who we shepherd on this planet.

Land Art Generator Initiative

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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We’d like to share this open call to artists from the NKA Foundation with our readers. The 3-week event next summer in Kumasi will focus on community arts practice as a response to the ever-widening gap between the contemporary African artist and the community. It is an effort to meaningfully engage the rural sub-Saharan population in the contemporary artistic process.

Individual or group submissions are invited for community theatre, media arts, readings, film screening, slide shows, open studios, visual activism, musical performances, community design, social architecture and others to allow the rural community to become acquainted with international contemporary artistic practice. The aim is that the participants will be inspired by one another’s work.

Submissions are still being accepted to what is sure to be a stimulating event in Ghana.

Date: July 16 – August 6, 2011
Venue: Kumasi and the Nearby Village of Abetenim in Ashanti Region of Ghana

More information on this year’s event can be seen here (PDF). And information on last year’s event can be seen here (PDF).

Interested individuals and collaborative groups should apply by submitting the abstract of your proposal (200 words maximum) for a seminar or project in English with a brief biography (200 words maximum) of the presenter to info@nkafoundation.org

This New York Times video highlights the growing issues related to wind turbines that are in close enough proximity to residential neighborhoods as to be visible and audible. What is interesting to us from this story in Maine is not the particular decibel level at two miles (and why people’s bedroom windows are apparently so badly insulated in such a cold climate so as to allow 40db outside to disturb their slumber), but rather the underlying fact that public acceptance of renewable energy technologies greatly depends on the cultural pride that is associated with them. When citizens are encouraged to see value beyond the clean energy, they may be less inclined to react negatively against power generation in their neighborhoods.

Artists have an important role to play in this discussion. How can sound be mitigated through other means or creative uses of technology? Can the sound generated be made to be pleasant (sound art)? Can artists help power companies succeed in convincing the public to embrace renewable energy and thereby contribute directly to greater proliferation of ecological solutions?

Some more commentary with which we agree can be found at treehugger.com‘s posting of this video.

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Vertical Farms in Unfinished Construction

That last post got us thinking about the whole idea of vertical farms in the context of the UAE. And it’s timely because Dr. Dickson Despommier’s latest book, Vertical Farm, is being released next week.

The advantages of hydroponic or aeroponic vertical farming for the UAE include all of those listed for vertical farms in general (less water use (recycles water in closed system), organic, no crop failures, 1 indoor acre = 6 outdoor acres, lower fossil fuel use to harvest and less food miles to the shelf, returns farmland to nature, etc.) but what is so uniquely appealing about the application to Dubai is that it offers two added benefits: 1. the harsh summer sun conditions in Dubai and poor soil qualities make conventional farming very difficult. Indoor options provide a controlled environment. and 2. it provides an opportunity to take 10%-20% of the structures that are considered “overbuilt” for the long-term health of the real estate market and reuse them for this noble (and profitable) purpose. Just look at all of the articles that have been recently talking about the glut of projects and even the potential demolition of some on-hold buildings:

Arabian Business, Jones Lang LaSalle, Arabian Money, The Telegraph, Gulf News, and this one in the Wall Street Journal that places the problem in the context of the annual Cityscape real estate exhibition which took place this week.

Rather than knock down these high rise buildings that are finished except for the facades, wouldn’t a better idea be to re-purpose them into vertical farms?

So much of Dubai’s food is imported that it is very difficult to shop locally here. Each office tower sitting idle for the past 18 months could have provided the equivalent of 200 acres of farmland and produced enough food organically and locally to satisfy all of the food needs of 200 people. That’s of course not to say that we could feed all 3 million metro inhabitants with vertical farms (this would require 15,000 VF buildings), but rather just to raise the question of why if the structures are there, couldn’t they be useful in some way? Figuring the type of money that is spent on high-end food products in Dubai (assuming $6,500 per capita/year), every idle office tower project could be bringing in $1.5 million dollars a year rather than losing money.

The investment to bring the building to VF functionality would be minimal. Finish the facade work to close the building as you would have anyway, perhaps allowing for some sun tubes or similar daylight enhancements (which could be either kept as energy reduction systems in the later finished building, or rented until the project picks back up). Then don’t finish the interiors past finished concrete, but rather bring in the aeroponic equipment.

Grégoire Diehl, smoothcore architects
with Xuhui Liu, Alexandre Braleret, and Léa Santamaria
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Photoreactor Farm Tower is an active landart piece which takes Dubai’s underused context elements as a chance to start the new energy revolution and produce alternative fuel. The context elements are the Sea (used as an algae tank), the Desert (used as an infinite algae field) and the Sunlight (used to grow algae).

The Photoreactor Farm Tower (PFT) is an active artifact. The algae fields are an artistic installation made of illuminated vertical green glass tubes with algae in them. By going vertical, you can get a lot more surface area to expose cells to the sunlight. It keeps the algae hanging in the sunlight just long enough to pick up the solar energy they need to produce, to go through photosynthesis.

The PFT is an architectural landmark in which takes place technical (substation-separator), educational (DEBFAU-Dubai Energy and Bio Fuel of Algae University), research (DLAER- Dubai Laboratory for Algae Energy Research), vertical farming (fruits, green cows, green chicken…) where animals eat algae food, French bio market (to buy twice a week fresh and bio food) and recycling (RABIT- Recycling Algae Biomass Institute of Technology).

Dubai may be best known for “Big Oil.” But the oil that could some day make a dent in the country’s use of fossil fuels is small. Microscopic, in fact: algae. Literally and figuratively, this is green fuel.

The PFT team (architects, artists, researchers, landscape architects) believes algae can someday be competitive as a source for biofuel.

The plant is a giant solar collecting system getting the bulk of its energy from the sunshine.

Algae are among the fastest growing plants in the world, and about 50 percent of their weight is oil. That lipid oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes. Pond scum can be turned into fuel.

Most people know algae as “pond scum.” And until recently, most energy research and development projects used ponds to grow it. But open pond cultivation involves a lot of land area, with inherent problems of evaporation and contamination from other plant species and various flying and swimming critters.

But instead of ponds, the PFT uses a closed, vertical system, growing the algae in long glass illuminated tubes. A pond has a limited amount of surface area for solar absorption. By going vertical, you can get a lot more surface area to expose cells to the sunlight. It keeps the algae in the sunlight just long enough to pick up the solar energy they need to produce, to go through photosynthesis.

The PFT can produce about 100,000 gallons of algae biofuel a year per acre, or the equivalent of 2,500 MWh of electricity.

There are about 65,000 known algae species, with perhaps hundreds of thousands more still to be identified. Part of the operation of the PFT will be to house research activities that will identify the best species.

Locating algae processing plants intelligently can add to their efficiency. Locating algae facilities next to carbon producing power plants, or manufacturing plants, for instance, the plants could sequester the C02 they create and use those emissions to help grow the algae, which need the C02 for photosynthesis.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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NET

Sang Hoon Lee
Designed for Site #3 in Abu Dhabi, on Airport Road near Masdar City.

land art generator
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Recycled Plastic Woven Structure (LDPE) with Amorphous Flexible Solar Films

It is a thin net of off-white plastic sheets (Recycled Low-Density Polyethylene). From a bird’s eye view, it appears like a white curving fabric floating slightly above the earth. Dispersing sunlight under the UAE’s strong sun radiation in the daytime, this vast surface area of plastic gives a viewer the illusion of it (the surface) being surrounded by a dim haze of light.

land art generator

The horizontal space under the plastic structure is approximately 0.56km long and 0.25km wide. The texture of the net is mostly dense and homogeneous, but in parts, relatively loose and sparse so that it creates a different sense of space with the difference in the amount of light coming in.

A number of 3 to 4m high Y-shaped supporting metal structures uphold the net, standing on the ground. These vertical elements are arranged keeping relatively consistent intervals, producing similar rhythm of natural woods. With the existing enclosures (a thin layer of woods and highways circulating around the perimeter of the site), these broad and wide artificial installations blend with the existing landscape as if there exist two different woods: woods within woods.

The net is 0.28m thick. It is a woven structure of LDPE plastic sheets. It is an aggregation of a single plastic unit (0.28m high x 2.5m long x 0.03m thick) assembled horizontally. Each has five 0.03m wide and 0.14m long slots; a slot of a unit is set in that of the other. A number of sheets are fixed to each other in the same way and transformed into an open canopy structure.

land art generator

The vast artificial surface is a thin and transparent layer where people encounter and sense the environment. The thousands of openings created serve as a frame and a new lens through which viewers can look up and observe the various changes of landscape. The movement of the sun is seen through lozenge-shaped rooms between plastic sheets and the setting sun is felt by the changing shadow pattern on the ground. Local birds may come down and stay on the net for a while or build their nests on the structure.

Small and low soil mounts are distributed on the site. These viewing platforms are placed where the fabric of the net is sparse so that people can mount on that platform and have a view over the wavy plastic surface. Stretching out their head above the net, visitors may see glaring white light reflected from plastic sheets like looking over clouds in the sky.

An amorphous solar film (20W, 17.5V, 1.275m x 0.385m, 0.90kg) is bendable due to its extremely thin (less than 1mm thick) and flexible characteristic. The photovoltaic units are mounted on the curving surface of the net maintaining the units’ faces perpendicular to the sun. The eight 0.018m diameter holes are made on each plastic sheet for consistent detailing method for any kinds of attachment to the structure. Disposable plastic fasteners (tie straps) can be used to tie the attachments such as solar panels, LED lights and electrical wires to the structure. Those electrical devices are exposed to the atmosphere but not reachable from the ground and are protected by additional finishing materials; a transparent plastic tube wraps round a supporting structure where electrical wires from photovoltaic units on the roof pass down and connect to an electrical grid on the ground.

land art generator

Some solar panels are connected directly to bar-type LED lights (not to the electrical grid) and work autonomously with a Light sensor and a controller set next to them; storing solar energy in a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery in the daytime and emitting light at night.

With around 3,200 amorphous solar units(20W) installed on the net, the installation has a capacity to generate 50Kwh clean renewable energy (around 75MWh a year).

Architecturally, it is a field under a wide canopy structure where meetings and events such as a market can take place. In the daytime, the area is open and both residents and tourists can access and wander around enjoying open air activities. At night, with the LED lights on, the still environment will convert into a place for a festive event for anyone.

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Karim Mahmoud Elnabawy Balbaa
Designed for Site #1 in Dubai, near Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Feel nature, love nature. It will never fail you. In order to solve problems we must first love nature. The inspiration must come out from the natural powers itself. With windscape and sunscape all around, nature deals directly with the form, and controls it.

The two towers play an important role in attracting people to the site with their strange look and height that can be seen from any part of the city. Each one is 140m high. With steel lines, it can inspire attendance with its visual effects at night, its movement, and the sky view.

The form lines on site were inspired by the desert sands, the form rises out of the sand. Its shape is fluid.

Inspiration
Integrating science technologies with some new artistic shapes and forms to inspire viewers and make art from science and natural powers.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

SOLARIS

Oleg Lobykin
with renderings by Transparent House
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.

land art generator
Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Solaris is a sculptural art installation comprised of hundreds of photovoltaic panels arranged in the pattern of a familiar cultural ornamental. This approach combines the benefits of modern technology for producing solar energy as electricity with a visual representation of traditional images having cultural significance. Due to its size and proximity to the airport, the site offers an opportunity to showcase a design from an aerial vantage point that is quite distinctive and provides an attractive alternative to a strictly utilitarian configuration of panels in flat straight rows.

From an aesthetic perspective, this approach offers several benefits. Panels may be manufactured in a handful of different geometric shapes, such as triangular and rhomboid, and then arranged in a virtually unlimited number of configurations to create customized patterns of design. This versatility allows the concept to be replicated in various locations with minimal cost for customization, straightforward and scalable manufacturing and installation, and site-specific design specifications for pattern development.

land art generator

From an environmental perspective, solar power is a renewable resource that is ideally suited to the site. Sunlight is plentiful throughout the year, and because the site is already mostly devoid of vegetation a photovoltaic installation would add to the renewable power base without posing any significant risk to existing flora and fauna.

Solaris will contain 1,418 photovoltaic (PV) panels and will have a peak capacity of 45 MW. This amount will be sufficient not only to provide for the ongoing energy needs of the site itself, including an interactive visitor center, but also for other commercial or residential buildings in the area.

land art generator

On the side nearest the coast, the PV panels will be arranged along the coastline itself. They will integrate the design seamlessly into its environment and also mark the contour of the coastline at a particular point in time so that any future changes in it will be easily visible.

In addition, there is 25m high dome structure integrated into the design which can serve as a visitor center and environmental science interactive museum that collects and presents information about the effects of climate change around the world.

Multi-media exhibits could connect viewers in real time to events occurring in particular places on the planet, such as rainforests, glaciers, oceans, etc. and act as a historical record of changes over time.

land art generator

The name “Solaris” is taken from the novel of the same name published in 1961 by Stanislaw Lem. The novel depicts the relationship between people of the future and “the rational ocean”, which the artist sees as a metaphor for nature itself. The issue at hand is the coexistence of human beings and the natural environment.

The arrangement of the solar panels in this proposal is intended to be illustrative of the concept. Airline travelers to and from Abu Dhabi will be able to view the design as they approach or depart the city by air, while visitors to the site at ground level will experience a sensation of passing along the coast of an “industrial ocean” by car from the road. Stopping at the site, visitors will be able to walk under the “canopy” of an “industrial jungle” to the dome-shaped visitor center and observe any changes in the shape or location of the coastline that may have taken place since installation. In this way, viewers will see Solaris very differently depending upon their perspective in relation to it. The Solaris installation will generate environmental awareness using the universal language of art.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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