News and Events » 2017

Africa Energy Forum

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Africa Energy Forum
LAGI / Maasai Solar Exhibition and Lecture
June 7–9, 2017
Copenhagen

Powering the Planet with Regenerative Art

The Land Art Generator Initiative would like to see a world in which the aesthetic influence of clean energy technologies has been intentionally designed to be a reflection of our culture. Working with cities and communities around the world LAGI is bringing forward site-specific solutions for renewable energy infrastructure that is designed as public art. In doing so, we are shifting from the “gloom and doom” narrative of climate change to inspiring examples of the beauty of our sustainable future, showing policy makers and city planners that net-positive energy installations can be placemaking tools, economic development drivers, and educational venues while they help to power the grid.

These are the questions asked by Tereneh Mosley, the founder of Idia’Dega, when she learned of the electrification needs of her Maasai collaborators in Olorgesailie, Kenya. She reached out to LAGI in 2015, and less than six months later a participatory design workshop in Kenya led to the founding of Maasai Solar.

Attendees to this presentation will learn about creative ways of integrating renewable energy infrastructure within specific cultural contexts. How can we get past the not-in-my-backyard response that so often comes with proposals for clean energy generation near culturally-sensitive and unique places? Can design create a win-win scenario for people and the planet? What are the natural sources of energy in your community, culture, country – how might that shape your renewable energy solutions?

Tereneh Mosley will talk about the work of LAGI and the Maasai Solar collaboration of LAGI + OMWA: Olorgesailie Maasai Women Artisans of Kenya + Idia’Dega. Attendees will take part in an interactive sessions brainstorming and designing their own ideas for how to bring solar and wind power to the contexts of their communities so that our energy landscapes and accessories are an integral part of our cultural heritage.

Binghamton, NY: Land Art Generator Workshop

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Binghamton, NY
May 6, 2017
Land Art Generator Workshop
in collaboration with Souther Tier Solar Works

LAGI Lecture & Exhibition

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Engineers for a Sustainable World conference
Austin, Texas
April 7–9
LAGI Lecture & Exhibition

Willimantic Connecticut: Land Art Generator Workshop

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Willimantic Land Art Generator Workshop

On March 3, 2017, the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts hosted the Land Art Generator Initiative for a workshop in Willimantic.

Participants in this afternoon “think tank” put their heads together around the design challenges of the WWP site.

During the workshop, community members investigated how renewable energy technologies can be incorporated into public art and creative placemaking opportunities so that the intervention on this exciting site will bring the greatest benefit to the city and its people.

Design Site
Willimantic Whitewater Partnership (WWP) has recently remediated a prominent site in the heart of Willimantic, Connecticut and prepared it for development. Soon it will be home to a new whitewater park and other public amenities that WWP would like to power with on-site renewable energy.

LAGI is working with WWP in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts.

Together we will be launching an invited design competition to bring forward the best ideas for how to utilize the parcel to generate clean energy while contributing to the creativity and beauty of the development.

The WWP site offers the perfect opportunity to integrate renewable energy, with a richness of resources, including hydro, solar, and wind. The site, in such a prominent location in downtown Willimantic, is ideally situated to be a catalyst for economic and community development.

Interestingly, there is a history of energy around the property. Hydro power provided much of the energy used to run the Smithville cotton mills. Two generations of dam expansions provided increases in power output. There still remains the option to bring small scale run-of-the-river hydro power generation back to the site.

More here >

San Antonio: Land Art Generator Workshop

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Land Art Generator Community Workshop
San Antonio, Texas

On April 6, 2017, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) hosted the Land Art Generator Initiative for a workshop in San Antonio in partnership with the Land Heritage Institute, LiftFund, and AIA San Antonio.

During the day long workshop, community members investigated how renewable energy technologies can be incorporated into public art and creative placemaking opportunities around San Antonio. The event was an open forum for the exchange of ideas within a variety of contexts to address multifaceted issues around the environment and social equity through a design lens, and without constraints on individual creativity.

Over the next decade as San Antonio continues to build on its rich cultural heritage through exciting developments around the city, it will be important to maintain a focus on how the outcomes of economic growth will bring benefits to everyone and not only to those who live in more affluent districts. It will also be important to consider the environment and incorporate sustainable infrastructures for energy, water, and food.

Perhaps there are opportunities to bring site specific design solutions to key sites around San Antonio that can proactively address these issues and serve as an example and catalyst for equitable development throughout the region.

This is the challenge that the participants in the workshop set out to solve with artful and creative proposals for speculative design interventions in public space.
The discussion brought out many ideas for potential applications in San Antonio, including vacant lots, the Mission Reach, and major development projects where a public art component could also add to sustainable development goals by generating clean energy on site.

Conversation pointed to how such projects could involve the school systems to invigorate science, technology, engineering, and math education by inspiring creativity and supporting STEM to STEAM initiatives. Sites could serve as destination field trips for learning about closed-loop systems, sustainable technologies, ecology, and biomimicry.

More here >

Community Art Workshop, Yakima, WA

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

YNHS Community Art Workshop
Saturday, April 22
1–4 p.m.
Washington Middle School
510 S. 9th Street, Yakima

The Land Art Generator Initiative will be facilitating a community art workshop in Yakima, Washington!

Come share your stories about the neighborhood, draw your vision for a mural, and be creative! Your ideas will be incorporated by local artists Cheryl LaFlamme and Richard Nicksic as they design a mural that incorporates beautifully colored solar technology to grace the exterior of the building formerly known as Roy’s Market. The building is being renovated into a beautifully landscaped and environmentally friendly apartment complex with a café and laundromat. All designs from the workshop will be displayed in a special exhibit inside the building soon after it opens.

Community members of all ages are invited to this unique event.
We supply the materials and you bring your ideas!

¡Venga a compartir sus historias sobre el barrio, dibuje su visión para un mural, y sea creativo! Sus ideas serán incorporadas por un artista local que diseñan un mural que incorpora tecnología solar de colores brillantes para adornar el exterior del edificio anteriormente conocido como Roy’s Market. El edificio está siendo renovado en un complejo de apartamentos muy bien cuidada y respetuosa con el medio ambiente con una cafetería y lavandería. Todos los diseños del taller se mostrarán en una exposición especial dentro del edificio poco después de su apertura.

For more information / Para más información
leah.ward@ynhs.org 509-853-2357

snacks provided / Estaran ofreciendo bocadillos

Landscape Architecture Magazine

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Landscape Architecture Magazine
The Art of Infrastructure
March 2, 2017
By Timothy A. Schuler

“For the past six years, Godfrey has had her students participate in the biennial competition held by the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). This year, two of her graduate landscape architecture students, Keegan Oneal, Student Affiliate ASLA, and Colin Poranski, took second place. LAGI was founded by Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian in 2008 to inspire new forms for alternative energy generation. Competition sites have included Copenhagen, Denmark; New York City; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This year, the competition site was 2,000 feet off the shore of Santa Monica, California. It was the first time LAGI had selected an offshore site, and it raised the bar for aesthetic considerations considerably. Despite the absence of any literal backyards, there is little more fraught territory than nearshore environments, especially in affluent areas like Santa Monica. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have long served as unique magnets for contemplation and artistic interpretation within American culture, and coastal areas are, statistically speaking, scarce: While the United States has 3.8 million square miles of land, it has just 95,471 miles of shoreline.”

Read More >

Something on which we can all agree: Solar power is great

Monday, February 6th, 2017

The future of energy has arrived in Pennsylvania and we ought to push it forward.

This is an op-ed article by the founding directors of LAGI. It was originally published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Sunday February 5, 2017. In this version, we have provided some helpful links for those who would like to dig deeper! – Elizabeth and Robert

The day before President Donald Trump was inaugurated, a team installed solar panels on our roof that will offset 100 percent of our home’s electricity. We live in one of the densest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh in a 20-foot wide row house on the North Side.

The timing of the installation worked out to be inauguration eve by chance, but it made us reflect on the fact that this is one of the easiest actions that we can take as Americans to help both country and ourselves — whether we are concerned about the climate and that the Trump administration might lock in a few additional degrees of global temperature rise, or whether we are interested in being grid-independent and saving money.

The winds of populism are rolling in on both sides of the political spectrum. This was made clear with the popularity of the Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns. Populism appeals to ordinary people, and we can’t think of an issue that is more popular than renewable energy.

A post-election survey conducted by the Conservative Energy Network found that more than 70 percent of voters, regardless of party, favor placing more emphasis on solar and wind power than on coal. Even base GOP voters favor wind and solar over coal.

In many markets, solar already has surpassed all other forms of energy generation and become the cheapest per kilowatt-hour. Unless government puts its finger on the scale, we can see the end of coal as an electrical power source.

For those who understand the science of climate change, this is good news. And for those who doubt the science, it is still good news because it means cheaper power, more resilient infrastructure, less air pollution, fewer lopped-off mountaintops, lower risk to our riversheds and natural habitats, and increased independence from a not-always reliable electricity grid.

So, call up a solar company today and put those panels on your roof! You might not need to spend a dime to do it. You likely can arrange a purchase agreement by which you lease your roof and buy back the energy — while saving money on your electric bill.

Call your state representatives and municipal officials, too. Tell them to support market-based approaches, such as the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE), to kick-start the clean-energy economy and create jobs. Tell them to support efforts to require that Renewable Energy Credits used in Pennsylvania are generated in Pennsylvania through the production of clean energy. And promote community projects in your own neighborhood to produce more renewable energy.

There are hundreds of thousands of rooftops and vacant lots in Pennsylvania that represent ripe opportunities for generating power. With the cost of installed solar panels at less than $4 per watt and falling, there is no reason to delay.

In the hands of artists and designers, the use of vacant lots for community solar can also become opportunities to create public art with new types of solar panels, which now come in almost any color. Let’s catch up to states such as New York, where the Reforming the Energy Vision plan is reducing market barriers to clean-energy infrastructure and where a statewide Green Bank is increasing the availability of capital for energy projects.

Remind your representatives that, in Pennsylvania, jobs in the clean-energy sector outnumber those in coal, gas and petroleum combined by nearly 2 to 1, and that jobs in renewable energy will be tripling in the next decade worldwide.

Western Pennsylvania has a tradition of being at the leading edge of energy innovation, from Titusville to Westinghouse and the Marcellus Shale. Let’s recognize that the sun is setting on those old technologies. Let’s move to the front edge of the 21st century.

Temple University and the Village of Arts and Humanities host LAGI in Philadelphia

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Photo by Katia McGuirk
Photo by Katia McGuirk

On February 3rd and 4th, 2017, LAGI was in Philadelphia to give a talk at Temple and facilitate a design workshop with the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia.

Read more about the events on our blog: Imagining Solar Art at the Village of Arts and Humanities Philadelphia.

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Issues in Science and Technology

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Issues in Science and Technology
Winter 2017 Edition: The Energy Transition
“Unlocking Clean Energy”
By Varun Sivaram

LAGI 2016 submissions for Santa Monica are featured on the cover and inside of the Winter 2017 edition of Issues in Science and Technology.

Download Article >

LAGI Exhibition at Exeter Innovation Centre

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

LAGI Glasgow Exhibition
Innovation Centre, University of Exeter
January 16 – April 28, 2017

An exhibition of LAGI’s collaborations with ecoartscotland and other organisations will be shown at the Innovation Centre, University of Exeter from 16 January to 28 April.