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Cetacea, Second Place winner of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Keegan Oneal, Sean Link, Caitlin Vanhauer, Colin Poranski (University of Oregon)
Artist Location: Eugene (OR), USA
Energy Technologies: wave energy converter with linear alternator, Windbelt™, photovoltaic panels
Water Harvesting Technologies: high efficiency reverse osmosis (HERO™ by Aquatech) for stormwater runoff treatment
Annual Capacity: 4,300 MWh (80% used to offset the energy demand of existing SMURRF facility and power HERO™ system)
650 million liters of drinking water

Cetacea is an elegant integration of energy and art, glistening white in the Santa Monica sun, rising gracefully from the surface of the water.

Cetacea generates power by harvesting the renewable resources of Santa Monica Bay—wind, wave, and sun. Driven by the principle of “clean power for clean water,” Cetacea reconciles water scarcity with pressing social and ecological concerns by supporting the existing water filtration facilities near the pier while providing carbon-neutral power to city residents. By connecting to the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF) and providing enough electricity to run a High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (HERO) system, Cetacea contributes to Santa Monica’s 2020 sustainability goals of water and energy independence.

The blue whale is a pelagic powerhouse. Consuming upwards of four tons of krill per day, the world’s largest creatures are fueled by gargantuan quantities of its smallest. Cetacea reimagines the blue whale’s strategy of capturing micro-sources of energy on an even larger scale.

In place of the sprawling and unappealing profile of common renewable energy farms, a vertical configuration of wave-, wind-, and solar-powered generators within graceful, multifaceted arches maximizes energy production within a minimal footprint. Modular arch components mean that Cetacea can easily be expanded in the future through the construction of additional forms, meeting the needs of a changing city while continuing to generate energy beautifully and unobtrusively. Repetition and subtle variation of the arches create ethereal forms in constant interaction with the play of sea, light, and cloud across the horizon.

Wave buoys 300 mm in diameter are situated within the framework of the arches, floating at sea level to capture wave energy around the clock. The vertical movement of each passing wave induces the flow of electricity by moving a magnet through an electromagnetic coil.

Windbelts™ are stacked within the sides of each arch at one-meter intervals. Following Bernoulli’s principle, the form of the arches increases wind speed as it passes through the belts. The resulting aerostatic flutter of the belts creates energy by oscillating magnets through an electromagnetic field. Photovoltaic panels positioned at the top of each arch provide maximum solar output.

Cetacea consists of five sculptures of three different sizes. Each parabolic arch ranges in height from 13 meters to 30 meters tall. A pile system uses recycled concrete and allows room for habitat reconstruction around the minimal physical footprint of the structures.

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Flowerpops, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Augusto Audissoni, Silvia Cama, Elisabetta Lo Grasso, Elisa Tozzi, Nicolò Mossin
Artist Location: Genoa, Italy
Energy Technologies: Vortex Bladeless™ Wind Turbine, Thin Film Solar (similar to AltaDevices™), Point Absorber Buoy Wave Energy Converter
Annual Capacity: 13,000 MWh

Just off the Santa Monica Pier there is an artificial giant garden, vibrant and full of life, with everything moving and the sound of the wind whistling between the stems. Here and there one part of the system catches the eye for a moment. As Lewis Carroll suggests, perhaps it is necessary to invert the size relationships between humans and nature to uncover the laws that regulate the balance between the parties.

Flowerpops integrates a new technology park with the spectacular character of its ocean setting. The famous funfair skyline on Santa Monica Bay is extended toward the horizon line near the breakwater. Five different technologies for energy production are brought together there. The devices are designed in five natural shapes in order to compose an artificial ecosystem.

“Wind flowers” come in four different sizes and use Vortex Bladeless™ technology. “Flying pollen” are realized in colored PET-G plastic, they weigh no more than 750 grams and they are driven by a mechanical system, set in motion by the energy produced by some “wind flowers.” “Floating water lilies” exploit wave power and are configured as a carpet of undulating buoys that dot the sea horizon. The “tulip binders” are pools of rainwater harvesters that raise and lower depending on the difference of pressure generated by the water collection. “Sun flowers” use photovoltaic film to convert sunlight into electricity.

During the passing of the day the surrounding playground changes according to weather and time. In the night the stored energy powers over 2,000 LED lights, reflecting the effect of the starry sky onto the ocean.

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click on the image above to access the full-size PDF

California has enacted an ambitious carbon reduction policy to bring emissions down to 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2030. We decided to take a look at what the land use impact of energy has been on California in the past, and what a real shift to a 100% renewable energy infrastructure might look like.

The information graphic is the latest in our series that explores the land use impact of renewable energy in a post-carbon world. Starting in 2009 with the Surface Area Required to Power the World with Solar, we have been making the case that the renewable energy transition, while a huge undertaking, is not any more ambitious in scale than previous human endeavors, and that the footprint on our environment can be designed to be in harmony with nature and provide a unique benefit to human culture.

In this graphic, we show a diversified mix of renewable energy technologies and the impact in terms of land area in direct proportion to consumption by county (you can quickly see that Los Angeles County is the biggest consumer). Much of the infrastructure can be located within our cities—on rooftops and through creative and community-owned applications in public spaces. The rest could easily be located in the places that have already been disturbed by oil and gas extraction—the dark dots on the map.

By enlisting these fossil fuel land areas in the fight against climate change, we can keep the CO2 the ground while we clean up the sky.

oil-well-landuseThis is what all of the 227,278 dark dots on the map look like up close (near Bakersfield, CA)

In the course of our research, we came across the MIT study, The Future of Solar Energy, which also includes a section that studies land use comparisons. We were fascinated to learn that across the entire US, the land area required to satisfy 100% of U.S. 2050 energy demand with PV would be no larger than the surface area that has already been “disturbed by surface mining for coal.” Some other comparisons from the study:

The land area required to supply 100% of projected U.S. electricity demand in 2050 with PV installations is roughly half the area of cropland currently devoted to growing corn for ethanol production, an important consideration given the neutral or negative energy payback of corn ethanol and other complications associated with this fuel source. That same land area&emdash;i.e., 33,000 km2 to supply 100% of U.S. electricity demand with PV&emdash;is less than the land area occupied by major roads. The currently existing rooftop area within the United States provides enough surface area to supply roughly 60% of the nation’s projected 2050 electricity needs with PV

Diagram from The Future of Solar Energy, Chapter 6: PV Scaling and Materials Use

California is acting on a plan (read more about the Governor’s Climate Change Pillars: 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals) that should set the standard for the entire country. By reaching 50% renewable electricity production, reducing petroleum use in transportation by 50%, and increasing energy use efficiency, these 2030 goals can provide the momentum for a 100% renewable energy economy by 2050.

Recognizing the unprecedented global threat of human induced climate change, we do not have the luxury of acting any less vigorously than California on a global scale, and in fact, that may not even be fast enough. Don’t ask how much it will cost because that is the wrong question. What will be the cost to the children born in 2016 if we do not act now? The technology exists to begin today, and the economic stimulus effect of a WPA-scale regenerative infrastructure project for the 21st century will bestow positive benefits for generations.

Let’s get to work!

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Weightless Balloons, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Aitor Almaraz, Sonia Vázquez Díaz (University of A Coruna)
Artist Location: A Coruna, Spain
Energy Technologies: Wind Harvesting (similar to MARS™, Magenn Air Rotor System), and Point Absorber Buoy Wave Energy Converter
Annual Capacity: 2,000 MWh

There is a profound power between the sea and sky—two endless parallel planes seeming to merge in the distance and obscured by the curvature of the earth. The pier with its thousand legs is walking inside the ocean, attempting to reach that imaginary and impossible contact point between air and water. The amusement park colonizes the platform and, in the middle of the attractions, the balloon seller offers us the fantasy of weightless deliverance—the dream of floating above our everyday struggle.

Weightless Balloons is a set of ethereal bubbles emerging from the sea, floating on the surface, moving to the rhythm of the waves. These gas spheres are protected by a metallic skeleton, like water molecules aspiring to abandon their liquid state to evaporate and blend with the air. This hope of freedom is fulfilled by the wind, which releases the balloons and makes them fly at its will. The free energy channeled into electricity derives from the fight of the bubbles against the tidal forces and the dance with the wind.

The artwork can function in two different modes for energy production. After analyzing the weather conditions, a computer determines if more power can be generated from the waves or from the wind, switching from one mode to the other as conditions warrant. Low tide sees the bubbles disappear completely behind the breakwater as they operate in “buoy” mode.

The balloons are filled with an inert gas, lighter than air, which keeps the structures floating on or over the water surface. Their skin is fabricated with double ETFE plastic layers, transparent but very durable.

The bubble’s structure is attached to a coiling gear, which automatically adjusts the length of the cable to the tidal conditions, and allows the system to alternate between the “buoy” and the “aero” generator modes. The coilers work with a mechanism very similar to sailboat coilers, capable of operating in constant contact with the water, and of bearing heavy loads.

When the computer detects good wind conditions, the coils loosen to allow the structures to rise into the air and spin around their axis to produce electricity.

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Illustration courtesy of TrevorJohnston.com/Popular Science via http://share.sandia.gov/news/resources

Sandia’s Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR) will make possible a new low-cost offshore 50-MW wind turbine with a rotor blade more than 650 feet (200 meters) long, two and a half times longer than any existing wind blade (imagine it stretching across two football fields). One of these turbines could meet the electricity needs of 20,000 homes.

At lower wind speeds, the blades are spread out (like the horizontal axis wind turbines that you’re familiar with) in order to maximize energy production. At dangerous wind speeds, like tropical storms or hurricanes, the blades are made to align with the wind direction, reducing the risk of damage. It may be possible that they could continue to spin like an egg beater set on its side.

The design was inspired by palm trees, which are able to survive severe storms by bending their trunks and folding their branches to align with the wind.

via mentalfloss

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Town Square

Are you interested in participating in the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative competition and you are looking for the right people to team up with? LAGI Town Square is the place where you can connect. It is a complete social networking engine (built on the elgg platform) that will allow anyone to set up a profile and look around for people who they think would complement their skill set.

For example, an artist can go to the Town Square to meet an engineer, architect, landscape architect, or scientist to help them fully realize their ideas. Conversely, someone of a more technical background can find an artist in the Town Square who has an interesting conceptual idea for which they’d like to provide nuts & bolts details support. Or perhaps you are an environmental activist, or a writer, or anyone with an idea that you’d like to see through.

This site has all of the tools that anyone will need in order to create the perfect collaborative team around their idea. That is its primary purpose. But we also hope that it will serve to connect people of like-minded interests outside of the context of LAGI design teams—to discuss ideas about renewable energy, art and design.

The Town Square site is complementary to the LAGI design competition itself and not an integrated part of the 2012 registration process. You are not required to create a Town Square profile to enter the 2012 competition. 2012 registration will open in January and will be completely separate from Town Square. However, if you create a profile on Town Square, we will migrate that information over to the 2012 design competition site. That way you will already be registered when the design brief goes live in January and you’ll be able to access the design brief and downloads area with your Town Square login information.

Town Square

When you sign up on Town Square, you will be able to provide information about your discipline(s) and team status. This way people will be able to browse other users on the site by discipline and find people with whom they are interested in partnering. For a while we will be building the network, populating it with new profiles. So please take five minutes to create yours now. It’s really easy (you can even one-click login via facebook if you like). Then in a few months, with a critical mass of members, you’ll be able to check back in and find your perfect team!

We encourage you to create a thorough profile and make use of the tools on the site. In this way, others will be able to learn more about you. If they think that you have something to offer their team, they can send you a message directly and privately through the Town Square site.

We’ve created the Town Square networking platform in response to a number of requests for something like this. Because we all don’t have the time to get to know people from across disciplines in our daily lives, Town Square will help to get scientists working with architects, working with electrical engineers, and landscape architects, and artists, and social activists, and writers…all working together to innovate the ways in which we think about design and public infrastructure of the sustainable city.

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The multimedia artist Michael Pendry worked with Siemens AG to create an installation on November 29, 2009 on the one 100 foot tall wind turbine near the Munich Allianz-Arena (by Herzog & de Meuron). Over 9000 Osram LEDs were affixed to the rotor blades of the turbine and choreographed to create patterns in response to the colors of the arena façade illumination.

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NY Times – Turbine-Free Wind Power from Antfood on Vimeo.

We think that there is a lot of potential for this combination of wind and piezoelectrics for public art installations.
More about Professor Francis Moon’s Vibro-Wind Research Team can be found here.

Prototype in action:

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Trevor Lee, Clare Olsen
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:
Simultaneously embedded in the landscape and floating in the air, WindNest is a macro scale land art installation that harnesses wind and sun energy for performative effects. The multi-stranded system grows from the subtle dunescape at the site, allowing for raised viewing platforms as well as erosion protection and habitat corridors. Hovering above and on the verge of take-off, a network of windsock turbines dynamically registers wind movement across the field, producing both energy and atmospheric effects.

The pragmatic, performative aspects of WindNest are provided through two means of energy collection. One third of the windsocks are covered with solar fabric. In addition, each of the windsocks is fitted with an energy collection turbine. The proposal utilizes low-impact, lightweight materials chosen in consideration of the full life-cycle of the project from material production to construction, maintenance and even after its role as a public art installation. Although the project covers a large area creating a big visual impact, the effects are achieved through humble means.

The nested elements are intended to be hand-woven by local craftspeople. Utilizing regionally harvested materials and human resources, the project proposes to engage the local craft economy, using natural materials and minimizing shipping, contributing to a low environmental footprint. Illusively thin carbon rods embedded in the ground as piles will tether a structural net composed of TENARA® (Teflon) fibers. The ropes, which are UV resistant, will ensure strength over time, but are incredibly thin, having an ethereal and lightweight presence.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards


Art Sanctuary

Mehdi Sabet, Rami Alotaibi, Sulaf Aburas
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:
It is not enough to just ‘love nature’ or to want to ‘be in harmony with her. Our relationship to the natural world must occur in a place, and it must be grounded in information and experience. Art Sanctuary seeks to create an outside/inside design, which integrates nature and art into visitors’ lives. The site energy and forces offer clues to the creation of a tranquil realm where man and nature can coexist in harmony.

Inside and under, visitors experience an unfolding series of panoramic views, delighting the eye in every season and drawing the imagination deeper into the lagoon, the sky, and the flora and fauna. The design employs continuously undulating vertical/horizontal/diagonal art forms which span low and high grounds. The simple forms are composed of linear elements made of lightweight fiberglass tubes with exterior photovoltiacs.

Each houses identical micro-wind turbine units attached at one end to capture wind and to produce power that is stored in batteries below ground. The battery storage is then connected to the city power grid. Above the earth, Art Sanctuary is a public realm to accommodate place for meditation and contemplation, conversation and communication, engagement in art making and art installation, leisurely walking, observing nature and capturing moments of light/space/color.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards


FLEET 1244

Shannon Scovell and Todd Montgomery
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:
Just as insects reveal the intricacies of their forms by unfurling their wings, the sculptural components of FLEET 1244 expose its layers to invoke a sense of wonderment and splendor. Each turbine engages with the wind, inciting a performance centered around the revelation of this natural phenomenon. The force of the wind sets the outside protective shell in motion. With enough speed, the outer propellers open up. The inner propellers beneath float up to take flight—whirling around, engaging the wind while generating electricity through this carefully choreographed spectacle. The rotations power a generator below, sending electric currents to an onsite substation. The energy is then transmitted from the substation through power lines to provide energy for the grid.

The twelve-hundred and forty-four wind turbines are oriented on a NW-axis in line with the most prominent wind direction for the area. The heights range from 8-30m with a wingspan of 4-15m. These dimensions gradate from the roadside to the water’s edge. Harder shelled aluminum wings encase the softer wings beneath. These outer wings protect the sculpture from hash elements.

A subtle glowing light is emitted from the sculpture. Energy to power the light comes from photovoltaic fibers embedded in the two softer fabric wings. Translucent fiber optic or LED embedded threads and PV cells are woven into the fabric that is stretched around a lightweight aluminum armature. Energy captured is stored within the windmill pole and released to illuminate the sculpture during the night hours. When wind activity is low, the wings are closed and a single strip of light follows the seam where the edges of the inner wings meet.

The complete unfurling of the sculpture occurs when wind speeds are at their peak. The field becomes a destination for art enthusiasts, residents, and meteorological study. Weather forecasters inform the public of seasonal wind speeds, making the unfolding of FLEET1244 an event for Abu Dhabi. Four-thousand and sixty-six wings in total will take flight as the wind drives the performance of the art; a spectacle of a glowing rotating canopy overhead. The field comes to life as the wind agitates the sculptural elements in the landscape. Passing across the site, the wind becomes visible as the art registers the activity of the air current. The invisible element becomes visible, demonstrating its energy potentials.

Viewing of the field can be from the water, on land, or in passing by the piece on the adjacent roadway. The piece comes to life in plan and section when agitated by the wind. Viewing platforms have not been included in the design because the piece is wholly visible from a distance. There will be a vista point, similar to that of a freeway or highway offshoot in which visitors can park to look up at the landscape before them. Due to safety precautions the art may not be easily accessible up close, but readily experienced from a distance. We propose that during an event, portions of the adjacent land can be sectioned off for visitors to enjoy the art and take in the vastness of the space.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards


Mariyan Nasirpour and Behnaz Farahi Bouzanjani
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 main concept of this project is “interactivity” with environmental parameters such as wind, solar energy, and water. The land is a transformative power of wind, sun and sea. In our estimation, interaction of this kind of projects with surrounding environment would provide a panoramic insight into sustainable future cities.

Site of this project is located on a stretch of waterfront off the road that connects Yas Island to Saadiyat Island. In a sense, any intervention in this area takes a considerable attention to the natural parameters.

Rarely a context has such dynamism and interaction between natural powers. Here should be a new concept of time, one that is ever‐changing as nature. An uncertain strategy (rather than a finished composition) that responds to its context by integrating and fusing with it. Intervention must only take place to simplify actual operation of wind, water and sun. As the result of this interaction, form and function will co‐evolve spontaneously resulting in mutable surfaces. This mutable surface will affect its immediate environment while it is affected by them.

As a context, nature has subjective boundaries. Where sea ends green starts and where green ends soil starts. Our land-based interventions take a variety of forms and motions and cover part of whole site in colored pinwheels.

This land art is composed of 20,000 colorful pinwheel modules containing motions (vertically and axially) and producing energy. In each moment in a day, according to the wind direction and its intensity, this land art transforms into a spectacle of dancing pinwheels and water. Moreover, during the day, it makes shadows underneath while converting wind power to electricity, cooling its immediate surroundings. At sunset, this work of art turns into a sparkling scenery of light, like a pinwheel galaxy.

As we consider function of this land art as a clean energy generator we take into account following parameters:

  • Wind flow direction changes between night and day where land meets water: Land heats up during the day more quickly than water, causing warmer and more buoyant air to rise. Cooler air over the water begins to push inland creating a breeze. The rising warm air over the land cools and moves over the sea to replace the cold air that moved inland. Land and water absorb and reflect solar energy differently due to their differing specific heat and reflectance characteristics. It takes far more energy to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree than a pound of earth. Landmasses typically reflect more of the sun’s energy while bodies of water tend to absorb more. This is illustrated by the fact that 12 to 30 percent reflectance is typical for meadows and fields, compared to 3 to 10 percent reflectance for water surfaces. The resulting temperature differentials ultimately lead to wind, clouds, and rain.
  • This project aimed to design a portable wind turbine capable of generating 6000 kWh per year in a nominally 15 mph wind. The design is a vertical axis wind turbine with two half‐cylinder blades and an interchangeable shaft to allow for a hand crank. The drive shaft powers a generator which stores electrical energy by charging a battery while a microcontroller monitors an ammeter to control RPMs. The product can power a communication device in remote areas or in power‐loss emergencies.
  • Surface of pinwheel is covered by Solar Ivy by SMIT. Solar Ivy is a solar energy‐generation and delivery system inspired by ivy. Solar Ivy’s unique visual appeal and flexibility brings a technology traditionally restricted to the any architectural surface. It has the ability to provide varying degrees of opacity to modulate heat gain, light transmission and view. In this project the leaves are made of 100% recyclable polyethylene and are available in a variety of colors and opacities which make the land art livelier. The Solar Ivy will increase the pinwheel surface friction in order to catch winds.
  • This pinwheel water pump reduces atmospheric air pressure inside the pump chamber. Atmospheric pressure extends down into the sea level channels, and forces water up the pipe into the pump to balance the reduced pressure.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Fernanco Valderrama Garre, Andres Silanes Calonge, and Calos Bañon
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:
Global weather disturbances like global warming are proof that weather and climate are not impervious to human intervention. If we can alter the weather inadvertently – throught technological recklessness – we can also alter it willfully.

CLIMATE ART GENERATOR is what is trying to avoid, a human-induced climate change. It is contradictory, seemingly. Is a device that produces clean energy and generates a local climate change as an artistic experience. It is not produced by humans, just induced.

A great opportunity for us to rethink about the modern age culture of controlling everything. Weather is the center of a technological debate. Our cultural anxiety about the weather can be attributed to its unpredictability. As an expression of nature, the unpredictability of weather points out the limitations of technological culture. While advanced methods of detection and tracking help to warn and thus protect us from the ravages of nature, the weather is unstoppable. It’s beyond our control.

CLIMATE ART GENERATOR is not inspired by nature, is activated by nature. As a secondary expression of nature, hasn’t a constant shape. Is recursive, created by the weather and weather modifier. An alteration that unleashes a reaction.

It is the inflection point in a field of vectors. Form follows equation. It is mathematical. It has a maximum and a minimum. If stops, nothing happens. If nothing happens, stops. Can’t control it, just enjoy! It´s predictable as weather. It´s unpredictable as weather.

Activates human attraction to natural phenomena. Being local, concentrated, becomes tangible and therefore emotional. While changes in time, allows us to relate inputs and learn, an educational experience.

By avoiding CO2 emissions and cancelling their effects, is both preventive and active. Has a double positive impact. We use a hybrid strategy that combines global long term and a local short time consequences.

As a vertical windmill, it harnesses the kinetic energy of the wind to generate 1500kW of clean electricity. Doesn´t need to face into the prevailing winds, eliminating the need for a yaw mechanism. It works, but converting wind into electricity and transporting it means that a lot of energy is lost. In a more direct way, part of the energy generated is dedicated to pump sea water to the top, accumulating potential energy. There is no water accumulation. In a continuous process, water falls inside the blades accelerated by the force of gravity.

When you spray saltwater into the air, you create nuclei that cloud condenses around, creating bigger and whiter clouds, thus bouncing more sunlight back into space. The idea is to increase the amount of sunlight reflected back into space from the tops of thin, low-level clouds

Clouds are a key component of the Earth’s climate system. They can both heat the planet by trapping the longer-wavelength radiation given off from the Earth’s surface and cool it by reflecting incoming shorter wavelength radiation back into space. The greater weight of the second mechanism means that, on balance, clouds have a cooling effect.

A new type of oasis is created. As humidity rises, vegetation can colonize the plot. Mangrove trees grow in tropical and subtropical areas. With the natural availability of these shrubs in several coastal areas in the UAE, they can reduce desertification impacts.

Nobody knows the size of the CLIMATE ART GENERATOR. It´s as big as the effects that produces. It’s not dangerous but doesn’t seem safe. Is shaped like a catastrophe, but provides benefits.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Forests of Wind

Edwin Cheong
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 idea of the landart proposal was to experiment with the poetry of making visible the unseen / uncommonly seen occurences.

To be able to “see” wind by day via the windmill kinetic movement.
To be able to “see” wind by night via the lighted spinning cups.
To be able to “see a dense forest” of “trees” in a desert climate.
To be able to “see sand dunes” on a relatively flat relief site.

The landart attempts to “de-materialise” the dune to create possible event spaces during the day and night. During the day, light canvases can be creatively stretch across its lateral tie cables to form shades while during the night, the public will experience being clothed under a “blanket of glittering stars.”

See www.flickr.com/photos/carlerfur/ for this and other videos of the artist’s work, including some constructed variations on similar theme

The “Forest of Wind” LandArt is proposed to be located at Site2 Abu Dhabi. The site is able to accommodate up to 8 modules, each being able to be added in phases. Each module measures around 198x198m and is arranged linear along the water edge. Each module have a density range of
1089 to 4356 “trees”.

Wind speed as little as 3.8m/s is able to charge the turbine. a wind speed of 8m/s is able to produce 414w of energy on each 48v load of windmill “tree”. While the LED will only need 14w at nightfall. The rest of the 400w will be distributed to the grid.

With each tree being able to produce up to 414w (from 8km/s wind), each module will be capable of producing 1.8mw of energy. The maximum 8 modules in the site will be able to produce 14.4mw to support some 8,000 households while glittering beautifully on the site like dunes of stars.

The mills of the “trees” rotates easily on windy days to turn the Permenant Magnet Alternator (PMA) Dynamo located at the shaft. During the day, the goldish brass convex surface of the cups provide a glittering effect to the whole “forest” as they spin. During the night, the cups’ concave surfaces containing low energy LED periodically “charges” the highly bright industrial strength Super Phosphorescent Paint (SPP), thereby giving the “starry sparkles” for the de-materialized dune. The already negligible energy spent on the LEDs is further reduced by the use of SPP.

The creative energy effiecient lighting combo of LED+ super phosphorescent paint works this way –
Super Phosphorescent Paint has an extremely bright glow in the dark paint. It is 5 times brighter than the popular green zinc-based glow in the dark products available in most department stores. Technically, it will continue to glow for days. After a 10 minute charge from 1000lx. It will have a glow of approximately 1000mcd/m2 for the next 10min. Therefore, in working with a led by alternating every 10 minutes, the landart not only saves on energy but has a pleasant light “change” display quality.

+ The 8 modules of Landart can be implemented in phases.
+ The Permenant Magnet Alternator inside accessible shaft for servicing and future “upgrades” of more efficient alternators.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Air Pipe Forest

Fai Lam
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:
50% of energy used in UAE goes to cooling. We proposed a new type of energy plant other than simply producing electricity.

The project starts to work on the major electricity use burden, i.e. cooling. The pipe forest proposes a new way but also Arabic ancient way of cooling air through the cool underground earth and water table. Electricity from wind power and solar power are minimized for supporting system.

The project questions the traditional way of power plant design and it proposes a new way to supply energy directly to the users.. The project proposes cooling air for the twin city by using the cool earth and water table below the desert. Numerous Wind Catchers are planted into the soil and draw in hot air from the sky into the soil. All the fresh air caught is compressed into air tank which is drawn below the underground water table. Cool Air from the storage tank are distributed (like main water supply) into the city buildings through insulated vent air duct along highway, then to the city centres.

All wind catchers are powered by the solar panels and the wind turbine towers. Extra energy from the PV panels and wind turbine towers are transmitted into the national electricity grid as clean electricity energy to the city.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards



Maria José Zapiain Gonzalez and Rodrigo Segura
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:
The proposal is based upon the idea that small actions summed together can lead to immense and amazing results. A Set of structures made of thousands of small electrical generator windmills are laid out in such a way that seen from afar they create patterns of light: reflected form the sun during the day, and the light they generate during the night. Parallel to the spectacle of light, the windmills generate electricity that can be directed into the grid and distributed to the city.

land art generator

This makes the whole project a statement of the concept itself, even better would be to involve the inhabitants of the city to collaborate with the project, purchasing one of the windmills, making it even more clear that small acts can create great things.

land art generator

land art generator

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Sage and Coombe Architects
T. Kelly Wilson, Timothy Dunne, John Parker, Richard Kress, Peter Hansen, Christoph Timm, Peter Coombe, Allen Slamic, John Reed
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:
One edge of this site is the line between two extreme conditions: the Rub al Khali and the Arabian Gulf. Here the desert meets water. The forms of our proposal are drawn from the interaction of the environmental conditions and the unique land forms of the Arabian Desert’s Empty Quarter.

Solar Sound Field responds to the scale of the site and creates an alternate landscape of forms that will be seen from afar while providing an unexpected and sublime experience for an individual visitor. The composition of objects across the site is reminiscent of geological forms found in the desert, the Jebel Tuwaiq for example. We created these primal forms as a child may play on a beach: we dig to expose water; we smooth the sand to create a protected place; we mound the sand to make a landscape; and we dig by the sea and watch as it invades.

land art generator

To generate electricity we harvest the most prevalent source of energy on the site- solar radiation. It is well established that all the energy stored in Earth’s reserve of fossil fuels from petroleum to coal, is matched by the energy from just three weeks of sunshine. Each square meter collects the approximate energy equivalent of roughly a barrel of oil each year, or 6 kilowatt-hours of energy every day in the desert.

Solar chimneys will capture energy from the sun’s heat and photovoltaic cells create energy from the sun’s light. We want to transform the latent energy of the site into a medium that can be seen, felt and heard. We give voice to the desert: we propose five musical machines and five accompanying musical compositions.

Each machine is designed and placed to address a unique condition of the site and provide a different orientation to the ground plain. The generated sounds, ordered and organized into modern compositions, and are acoustically matched to the spatial idea and position of the viewer as he moves from one chamber to the next.

land art generator

The Machines
Each machine is a composition of three components: an acoustic chamber, a glass skirt and an array of chromium steel pipes- 60 meters tall. The elements of the site- water, sand and air are represented in glass, concrete and polished steel. The glass skirts will float above the sand like a mirage of water. The colour of water, sand and sky are reflected and distorted in the mirror finish of the pipes. The pipes will dissolve into the sky. The concrete is made from the surrounding sand and will be come a part of the ground.

land art generator

Air underneath the glass skirts at the base of the pipes will be heated by the sun and an upward directed airstream created by the hot and buoyant air wanting to rise. This airflow, similar to an organ, provides the means to sustain a musical note through the resonance chamber in each solar chimney. The pipes will channel the airflow that drives a simple turbine and generates electricity. Water storage underneath the glass skirt will be used to store heat so that the stack effect continues throughout the night. The harvesting energy will be felt and heard throughout the day.

In addition to the turbines, electricity is generated by of 24,000 square meters of photovoltaic cells placed below the glass skirts. The electricity created will provide power needed on site. Excess power will be fed to the grid.

land art generator

Parking Area
A continuous dune, made from the excavations or spoils from the sound chambers, lines the parking and provides an acoustical barrier to the road. Separate entrances punctuate the dune. A visitor, upon leaving the parking area, would pass through the dune and follow pathways that link each machine. Descending into the cool shade of each chamber the visitor will find a symphony of sound, space and light.

Machine 1 Amphitheatre remains an ‘instrument.’ The available sound is offered the visitor to manipulate, and to be used by visiting sound artists and musicians who come with the purpose to explore the form of generated sound.

Musical Composition 1:
Suspension Chamberland art generatorland art generatorland art generatorland art generatorland art generator
Here the unpredictability of the converging counterpoints – disparate and dynamic voices unpredictably bouncing off one another – form moments of intense epiphany and inner-directed rumination engendered by an encounter with the surrounding spaces and energy.

Machine 2 Water permits the confluence of tidal water within the sound chamber, low frequency notes at the limit of human hearing visually observable on the surface of the water, registering their notes with pressure.

Musical Composition 2:
Performance Chamber
Out of the stillness of the water grotto rises a sonic wave of resonating low frequencies. The cluster of tones first presents itself as an inaudible sound wave somewhere that sends ripples over the surface before modulating and becoming humanly audible. Our eyes are presented with one image of water and faint light and our ears remind us of their voluminous powers.

Machine 3 Sky slides land beneath an inverted dome that is pierced by an oculus, brings the visitor to direct their gaze toward the sky.

Musical Composition 3:
Water Chamber
With a blast of direct sunlight at the center of this massive disc the heavens cut through our senses like the bright, soaring major harmonies created by layers upon layers of melodic threads. The sun’s radiance appropriately trails-off into the sounds of creation – birds of the sky.

Machine 4 Wadi develops a long and gradual swale to pass gently under the land, slowly approaching the sound field beneath the pipes above where the slow gradient of descent compliments the gradient of sound.

Musical Composition 4:
Sky Chamber
Two wind instruments, like comforting messengers from the heavens directed columns and conversing a tonal language at home in the Arabic culture, beckon the visitor along a graded pathway leading further into a blissful unknown.land art generator

Machine 5 Canyon directs the visitor into a deep trench down a ramp, to cross a bridge poised exactly at the mid point between top and bottom of the trench. With equal measures of space above and below, the visitor is placed in a suspension from ground and sky.

Musical Composition 5:
The vast stretch of upwards and downwards space is not inert but charges with the sound of arching and jubilant brass. Suspended and locked into some kind of celestial dance above the insistent gravitas of the string bass pizzicatti the stifled awe of an encounter with the sublime is given over to joyously pulsating celebration.

Scientific Principles: Solar Updraft Function of LAGI
The basic function of LAGI is to use the heating of air as in a greenhouse to produce power from updraft to turn a turbine.

The project consists of five differently geometrically shaped machines which operate independently from one another. They are located at distances of 100 to 400 meters apart.

Functional Principles
The function of each of the five machines can be divided into three parts, each of which derives from traditional and conventional technology.

1. Greenhouse– heating of the air,
2. Chimney– upward motion of hot air through the towers, and
3. Turbines– generation of electricity by turning of a turbine.

The solar radiation penetrates the glass roof of a greenhouse a heats the air below. This is similar to what happens in a car parked in the sun, the air will heat up until there is an equilibrium of the energy irradiated into the box and the total of the energy radiated out of the box and the energy loss by heat conduction through floor, walls and roof.

The real model must include the loss of the hot air to the actually not enclosed “box”. A dynamic flow model includes inflow of cold air into the greenhouse, transport of that air through the greenhouse structure while the air is heated, and loss of hot air from the greenhouse to the chimney(s).

Hot air rises as it is less dense than cold air. The rising hot air from the greenhouse or glass skirt turns powers the turbines.

To calculate the potential for energy production from the turbines placed in the solar chimneys we have looked for existing installation that may serve as precedent.
Power Calculations and Precedent Projects

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Hector Paredes Gutierrez and Eduardo Gaitan Tronco
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:
The idea of generating an artificial project in a natural environment always forces the need to adapt and integrate without trying to imitate it. Using the enviromental factors of within, this enviroment helps us to develop this integration between natural and artificial thing.

How to integrate artificially an enviroment that owns a dynamiism based on natural energies?

If we focus our attention towards this element only having a temporary function it would be a poor idea. We should be able to reach an evolutionary artificiality totally integrated in the enviroment. If we work in this way, it will be generated and regenerated in, creating as a result an artificial, evolutionay and ephemeral element.

In the life’s cycle, three intrinsic acts can be found, to be born, to grow, and to die. If we could compare an artificial element with an alive entity and his life cycle, we find the lack of this intermediate part of growth, its evolutionary part, taking this evolutionary part as a point of connection between the natural and the artificial, by achieving the growth inside this artificiality, it carries out mutations and events, where the passage of time itself is also a part of this artificial, evolutionary, changeable and multiplied element. It manifests and unchains daily events that make us think that it’s alive, and it is then that we find this connection between the natural and the artificial thing.

Let’s try to use these natural energies, not only to generate energy, but also as means of adaptation, integration and evolution of an artificial element. This artificial and evolutionary element generates and regenerates natural situations and effects through the passage of time that remind us of these natural and ephemeral events in chain through the artificiallity that has been generated within it.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards


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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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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