News and Events » 2012

Canadian Architect

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Canadian Architect
Winners of the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative Competition Announced

Conservation Magazine

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Conservation Magazine
Artsy Energy Hits New York

“Last year in the Art & Science section, we featured ideas for beautiful, yet functional, renewable-energy projects designed for Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a contest sponsored by the Land Art Generator Initiative (“Powered By Art,” Spring 2012). This October, LAGI announced the winners of its second design competition: a call for renewable-energy installations for Freshkills Park (formerly Fresh Kills Landfill) on New York’s Staten Island. From hundreds of entrants, top honors went to screens that ripple in the breeze, generating wind power with interwoven piezoelectric fibers, and to a series of mounds that house wind turbines and CO2 scrubbers.”
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Guest Lectures

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Thanks to Deborah Hosking (Chatham University) and Ann Rosenthal (The Art Institute of Pittsburgh) for inviting us into their classrooms this fall semester to guest lecture on the Land Art Generator Initiative and the conceptual framework behind the project. What a great opportunity and a delight to present to such engaged and creative audiences!


Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Land Art Generator Initiative: Aesthetic Design Solutions to Clean Energy
by Team YS

“We have all probably heard or maybe even been involved in the debate surrounding the aesthetics of clean energy. It holds particular relevance in the case of wind turbines, in which appeals for clean energy have, in case after case, been rejected because residents refuse to sacrifice their views to giant windmills. The irony of choosing the long-term destruction of the world’s natural beauty in exchange for the short-term satisfaction of the pleasure we receive from such beauty is almost Shakespearean, but it points to an important question: how do we preserve natural beauty in the long term without sacrificing it in the short term?”
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Regenerative Infrastructures: Freshkills Park NYC, Land Art Generator Initiative

Monday, November 26th, 2012

We are pleased to announce the May 2013 release of Regenerative Infrastructures. The book will be published by Prestel (a division of Random House), and is being designed by Schifino Design.

In addition to detailing 65 of the 2012 LAGI competition entries, it will also contain eight thoughtful essays on subjects related to sustainable infrastructure and urban space.

We’ll provide more information about the contributing authors and the included projects early in the new year.

240 pages with 250 illustrations
11 x 9 in. / 28 x 23 cm
US$49.95 £35 Can.$54.95
Publication date: May 2013

Formerly a symbol of immense urban waste, the Fresh Kills Landfill is being transformed into an enormous parkland that is destined to exemplify the values of ecological restoration and environmental sustainability. Part of that transformation includes a competition for a site-specific public artwork designed to operate as a source of clean energy for the city utility grid. This volume features many of the top submissions to the Land Art Generator Initiative, which aims to create sustainable design solutions that integrate art and technology into renewable energy infrastructure around the world. The book draws a much needed connection between the two critical issues of sustainable development—energy generation and waste management—highlighting solutions that address both problems at once, thereby creating economically beneficial hybrid utility installations.

Danish Architecture Centre

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Danish Architecture Centre

“The energy sector and art world could not be more different in design approaches, philosophies, and outcomes. However, today the opportunity exists to kindle a new relationship between art and renewable energy. The advancement of society and major cities in the last two centuries was mainly due to non-renewable energy resources, but at the expense of damaging the planets ecosystems and life forms. It is of great significance now to continuously increase public awareness and acceptance of renewable energy technologies to reverse or expand perceptions.”
read more


Monday, November 19th, 2012

LAGI: i vincitori
by Annacaterina Piras

“Si è inaugurata lo scorso 25 ottobre l’esposizione dei progetti partecipanti alla seconda edizione del concorso internazionale su energie rinnovali e arte Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), patrocinato dal Dipartimento per i parchi della città di New York (New York City Parks & Recreation), promosso dai fondatori della associazione non profit Society for Cultural Exchange Robert Ferry e Elisabeth Monoian, per l’ideazione di un’opera di arte pubblica che produca energia da fonti rinnovabili, con scenario d’ambientazione il polmone verde di oltre 2.200 acri (più di 800 ettari, quasi tre volte Central Park) di Freshkills Park, Staten Island, restituito alla città attraverso il progetto di rinaturalizzazione ecologica dell’ex discarica più estesa del mondo.”
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Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

99 red balloons can power 4,500 homes
by Sarah Laskow

“This wins for most charming solar concept based on a one-hit wonder from the ‘80s, and maybe most charming solar concept ever: a power generating system inspired by the song “99 Red Balloons.” (But not by the [superior] German version, “99 Luftballons,” because that doesn’t specify color.) Ninety-nine red balloons float over New York City’s Freshkills Park, once a landfill, and create energy by using “transparent organic solar cells,” according to Design Taxi. The system theoretically could power 4,500 houses.

The Canadian team that came up with this idea submitted it to the Land Art Generator Initiative Competition for Freshkills Park, a contest seeking conceptual ideas that show “Renewable energy can be beautiful.””

read more

American Solar Energy Society

Friday, November 9th, 2012

American Solar Energy Society
“99 Red Balloons” all over Staten Island
by Ariel Braude

“Since 2008, Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island, New York has been declared an area for the production of clean-energy. Mayor Bloomberg said back in 2008 that this area would be a great place to produce wind energy in order to help New York become more sustainable. Building a new wind farm always takes time though so now in 2012, a contest was held as part of the Land Art Generator Initiative to find a renewable energy solution for this area. Many designers entered the contest with some extraordinary designs but the winners were chosen, and four designs were picked as the best. All the designs were unique in their own way on how they produce energy and the aesthetic features, but one that sticks out is the fourth place winner entitled “99 Red Balloons.””

read more


Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

After Sandy, rebuild Staten Island with art and power
by Chris Sullivan

“Here’s a post-election political litmus test: Do you think wind generators, those massive pinwheels set on hilltops, are pretty? Say yes, and likely you’re a left-leaner, Al Gore type. Say no? You may be a Republican stalwart, maybe a Trump or Murdoch.

Or not. Maybe you’re just one of a growing number of artists and architects who think our power infrastructure lacks a certain aesthetic flair.

A few of these likeminded artsy types got together an ideas competition to dream up new ideas for land art that would also generate power in New York City. The site? The massive Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.

In a city still without power in some places — and with much of Staten Island in need of serious rebuilding, all due to Hurricane Sandy — this is an ideas competition we really need.


Art that powers a city

And here it is: The results, unveiled last week, are fascinating and eye-popping.
Co-sponsored by the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation, the goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is to build some very big public artworks that also generate very big amounts of clean, renewable energy.”

read more

Landscape World Magazine

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Landscape World Magazine
2012 LAGI NYC Competition
Landscape World 58, ISBN: 978-89-97767-05-2, Size: 22.8cm x 28cm
Language: Korean & English, Price: US $25

(c)Landscape World Magazine

Architect: The Magazine of the American Institute of Architects

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Architect: The Magazine of the American Institute of Architects
Wind Sensor Proposed for New York: Two artists’ proposed wind sensor would also generate energy.
by Blaine Brownell

“The natural human curiosity about weather and other changing climatic conditions is addressed in “Scene Sensor,” a project proposed by artists James Murray and Shota Vashakmadze for Freshkills Park, New York. The winning entry to the Land Art Generator Initiative design competition, Scene Sensor is a simple open-air pavilion that harnesses wind power via a piezoelectric wire mesh that converts moving air into energy. This mesh also incorporates lighting to depict wind maps at night, and will act as a billboard that visualizes invisible natural forces.”
read more

CBC Radio

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Click the link below to hear the October 26 morning broadcast interview on CBC Radio with Emeka Nnadi (, representing the 4th place mention team from the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Freshkills Park, NYC.


The Danish Architectural Press

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The Danish Architectural Press
by Tom Hermansen

Connaissance des Energies

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Connaissance des Energies
LAGI: the art of mixing and creating energy


Friday, October 26th, 2012

Piezoelectric Energy-Generating “Scene Sensor” Wins the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative Competition for Freshkills Park
by Tafline Laylin

“We’ve been closely following the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition to create a new public art installation on the site of Freshkills Park for several months now, and are excited to announce that the winner was announced just moments ago in New York City. “Scene Sensor”, designed by artists James Murray and Shota Vashakmadze, is a striking piezoelectric energy-generating art project designed to be installed above and below the surface of the Staten Island park. The duo from Atlanta will walk away with the $15,000 grand prize, while the $4,000 second place goes to Matthew Rosenberg, Matt Melnyk, Emmy Maruta, and Robbie Eleazer for their design “Fresh Hills”.”
read more

Winners for Energy Generating Artwork Design Competition at Freshkills Park NYC To Be Announced!

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

The Land Art Generator Initiative: Exploring the Fusion of Public Artwork and Clean Power Generation

Direct Link to Full Press Release

Imagine a new permanent work of iconic public art for New York City on a grand scale. And now imagine this work of art contributing clean electricity to the city grid equivalent to the energy consumed by hundreds or even thousands of homes, while educating hundreds of visitors every day about emerging green technologies.

The Land Art Generator Initiative invited interdisciplinary teams to submit their design ideas for public artwork that can generate hundreds of megawatt-hours of electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable sources. The design site is within Freshkills Park (the former Fresh Kills Landfill) in Staten Island, and the competition is a partnership with New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation, Staten Island Arts (COAHSI), and the Institute for Urban Design.

250 entries came in from interdisciplinary teams around the world and now the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is pleased to announce the first exhibition and award ceremony event, which will open at 7pm on October 25 at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street, NYC).

LAGINYC 2012 is an ideas competition to design a site-specific public artwork for Freshkills Park that, in addition to its conceptual beauty, has the ability to harness energy cleanly from nature and convert it to electricity for the utility grid.

Eloise Hirsh, the Freshkills Park Administrator summed up the results:

“We were excited to see the diversity of submissions to the 2012 LAGI ideas competition. Entrants clearly took the scale and natural beauty of Freshkills as sources of inspiration. This competition is a testament to the important roles creativity, public art, and renewable energy will play at Freshkills Park.”

The expansiveness of the design site at Freshkills Park presents the opportunity to power the equivalent of hundreds or even thousands of homes with a large work of public infrastructure art. The stunning beauty of the reclaimed landscape provides an opportune setting from which to be inspired, and it offers the perfect environment for a showcase example of the immense potential of aesthetically interesting renewable energy installations for sustainable urban planning.

The detailed design brief was released on January 1, 2012 and can be seen in full detail at the design competition portfolio website at , where visitors can also browse through the full portfolio of submissions.

The monetary prize awards to the winners of the 2012 LAGI design competition will not guarantee a commission for construction; however, LAGI will work with stakeholders both locally (NYC) and internationally to pursue possibilities for implementation of the most pragmatic and aesthetic designs that come from the biennial LAGI competitions.

Dwell Asia Magazine

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Dwell Asia Magazine (September/October Issue) has a great review of The Time Is Now: Public Art of the Sustainable City. Click image for larger version.

The book is beautifully designed by Page One Publishing. It includes 51 submissions to the 2010 edition of the LAGI design competition, as well as fascinating essays written by Beth Carruthers, Michiel Van Raaij, and Reuben Andrews (with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority). It also includes a forward essay by LAGI and an opening statement by Masdar.

“And now the final beauty of this initiative is that we can explore the feasibility of implementing all the leading submissions—again creating a link between a future vision and today’s reality”

-Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar

It is now available directly from the publisher and in select retail outlets.

Click HERE for information about how to purchase your copy. Or you can now also purchase directly online through Kinokuniya Book World.

From the publisher’s description:

In 2010, the Land Art Generator Initiative held its first international design competition to explore the various facets of renewable energy’s beauty. Artists, architects, engineers and scientists from around the world worked together to design power plants that would function not only as infrastructure for clean energy production, but also as conceptually powerful works of art for the United Arab Emirates. This book presents the best of the entries, the winners of which were chosen by an international jury. The aim is to actualise public art that fulfills its societal role while pushing the boundaries of technology—progress at peace with the natural world.

LAGI 2012 NYC Exhibition & Celebration

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

In partnership with New York City Parks & Recreation the Land Art Generator Initiative held its 2012 design competition for Freshkills Park in NYC (the former Fresh Kills Landfill). On July 1st, LAGI received 250 inspiring submissions from around the world.

Please join us on Thursday, October 25, 7pm at SOHO Gallery for Digital Art in NYC for this free and open celebration.

The winning submissions will be announced!

You’ll be able to view design solutions for clean energy generating artworks that could power NYC, learn about renewable energy and infrastructure art, and meet many of the participating design teams.

Guests will also get a free copy of A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies.

SOHO Gallery for Digital Art is located at: 138 Sullivan Street, NYC


Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

A review of The Time is Now
Land and Energy Pt. 2 – review of ‘The Time Is Now’
By Chris Fremantle
September 2012

Sculpture Magazine

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

A review of “A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies”
by Sculpture Magazine (A publication of the International Sculpture Center), September 2012

Join us August 19 for Art Activity Day: Leslie Park Collective—Pittsburgh

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

If you are in Pittsburgh please join LAGI and the Leslie Park Collective at Art Activity Day at Leslie Park Pool! We will be handing out free copies of “A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies” along with having discussions about the aesthetics of renewable energy.

There will be a great interactive installation by the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art as well as with many other activities.

The event will be Sunday, August 19, from noon to 5 pm at Leslie Park Pool in Pittsburgh.

Hope to see you there!

ISEA 2012

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

We will be participating on a panel discussion during ISEA 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico (September 19-21). Thank you Vicki Sowry from the Australian Network for Art and Technology [ANAT] for inviting us!


Thursday, August 9th, 2012

We are looking forward to presenting a lecture during PHOTOVOLTAICS, FORMS, LANDSCAPES in Frankfurt, Germany on September 25.

Below is a description of the event from their website:


This special event, that highlights the interaction of PV systems with buildings and landscape, will outline the vision of a transition from PV architecture into urban and non-urban landscapes and how architects take up this challenge.

In a future Zero Energy Building scenario it is considered that PV solar energy covers the energy needs of the living space (electricity services, heating and cooling).How could buildings look like to incorporate this energy source?

How would out-of-city landscapes offer opportunities to satisfy the energy-hunger?

At the moment, the traditional domain of architecture design takes into account only the physical space we live in, that we can envision with our traditional tools, and, in the end, ‘categorise’ and ‘touch’. For the net zero energy challenge, in consequence, architectural design needs to foresee for each m² of a ‘designed’ space about 2.5m² more ‘energy-surfaces’, which are generally neither envisioned nor designed. We need a shift of perspective and to learn how to combine the design for the space we live in, and the space for generating the energy. We cannot leave the energy generation in a technological corner where design has no role, and where the forms of our cities and our landscapes would be affected in a way which the public does not accept, making fail all positive aspects of the net zero energy community.

The realization of the 2021-Nearly Zero Energy Buildings objective is a great challenge, but at the same instance also a unique opportunity for a new school of performative design. Energy, in fact, has a new, more than symbolic and societal meaning, that can be made visible by design beyond traditional architectural categories. It develops new visions appropriate for the needs of today.

As an official event of the 27th EU PVSEC, the Photovoltaics, Forms, Landscapes Workshop is jointly organised by ENEA, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies and the EU PVSEC.

Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

We are looking forward to speaking at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science East (Held jointly with European Association for the Study of Science and Technology), October 17-20, 2012, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Join Us on Saturday, July 28 in Staten Island 10am-5pm

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012
105 Water Street
Staten Island, NY 10304
10am – 5pm
Free and open to the public

Please join the Land Art Generator Initiative for a day on Staten Island and a sneak preview of submissions to the 2012 LAGI NYC design competition for Freshkills Park. You’ll learn all about renewable energy technologies, land art and public art, and even design your own energy-generating public artwork!

We will be providing free copies of A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies, a 67 page book that details all of the different methods by which clean energy can be safely harnessed from nature. Renewable energy is so much more than just solar panels and wind turbines. We’ll discover how sustainable infrastructure can be beautiful!

Special thanks to the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island who have helped make this event possible. Funding for the event comes from the Horne Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Guardian

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Is a sustainable future within reach?
John Elkington finds inspiration in the ready and available solutions listed in the Sustainia100 prospectus

International Sculpture Center

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

The Time is Now: Public Art of the Sustainable City
Wonderfully interesting and informative book review by Twylene Moyer for the International Sculpture Center (Publisher of Sculpture Magazine)

Sustainia 100

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Land Art Generator Initiative is honoured as a top sustainable solution at Rio+20! See the complete press release here.

Yesterday, sustainability legend Gro Harlem Brundtland, media guru and philanthropist Ted Turner, EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, and 150 VIP guests celebrated the first concrete outcome at Rio+20: The launch of Sustainia100.

Download / read the complete “Sustainia100” here.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

We’re honored to be one of twenty-four selected social entrepreneurs who make up the inaugural group of Social Innovation Rockstars (SIR) feature at

Go to the site to discover all of the interesting work that is being driven by these creative individuals!

Greater and Greener International Parks Conference

Monday, June 18th, 2012

We are pleased to announce that we will be present at the Greater and Greener Parks Conference: Re-Imagining Parks for 21st Century Cities, presented by the City Parks Alliance.

The conference will run from July 14-17, and we will be anonymously premiering the submissions to the 2012 LAGI design competition there on July 15th and 16th.

Thanks to the City Parks Alliance for inviting us to take part in this important event!

Society for Cultural Exchange Receives NEA Grant to Support the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

[New York City]— National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that Society for Cultural Exchange (SCE) is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. SCE is recommended for a grant to support the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) design competition for Freshkills Park, New York.

The LAGI 2012 competition is challenging designers to propose large-scale, permanent, site-specific public art installations that can distribute clean, renewable megawatt hours to the New York City electrical grid.

The NEA Art Works grant will be used specifically to support outreach and educational events related to the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Freshkills Park. These events are planned from July through October of 2012. Participants will have the opportunity to see the submitted designs to the competition, and to engage in discussions and workshops related to the aesthetic integration of renewable energy into the fabric of sustainable urban development.

Read the rest of today’s press release here.

Che Futuro! (lunario dell’innovazione)

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Giovani architetti, ho una sfida per voi: create capolavori che producano energia
by Alessandra Viola

Green Prophet

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Free, Easy-to-Use Field Guide Lists 60 + Proven Clean Energy Technologies
by Tafline Laylin

Shelter Blog

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Entrepreneurs at the Intersection of Art and Energy
This is a very nice post about our lecture last week at Shelter Dubai.
Thanks to Mary Ames and everyone at Shelter.

Superlative Emirates

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

The work of Studied Impact Design (the design house of Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry) is included in a new book by Daab Publishing, “Superlative Emirates: the New Dimension of Urban Design.” The section features information about the 10MW Tower project and the Land Art Generator Initiative.
Edited by Caroline Klein

Le Monde

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

We know that Le Monde has a nice spread out (including images of LAGI 2010 submissions) about the Land Art Generator Initiative because people have told us about it, but we haven’t seen it yet. We’ll post a link to it here once we find it.

Shelter Dubai

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

January 19th at 7pm
Aesthetic Renewable Energy Infrastructure – more information is available at the Shelter facebook event page.
A Lecture on the background of the Land Art Generator Initiative, the 2010 edition and the launch of the 2012 edition for New York City.

POP City

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Powered by Art? TEDx Pittsburgh talk
edited by Tracy Certo

City Atlas

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Land Art Generator Initiative Partners With NYC Parks
A very thoughtful overview of LAGI 2012 with reference the project outreach, including to the R.E.A.D. section of the website and the 2012 high school edition. is a nicely designed website with a lot of great content.