LAGI Directors Elizabeth Monoian & Robert Ferry
The Aesthetic Influence of Renewable Energy Infrastructures on Public Space
School of Arts, Media and Engineering: Digital Culture Speaker Series
Arizona State University
April 21, 2016 3:00
Starting from the assumption that a transition to 100% renewable energy will happen over the coming generations (and no time too soon), we will inevitably begin to see a greater proliferation of clean energy generation infrastructures within urban and suburban environments. Embracing this fact, the time is now to proactively address the influence of these new machines on city planning, urban design, zoning ordinances, and building codes. When envisioning cities of the future, we would like to imagine potential futures in which the aesthetic influence of clean energy technologies has been intentionally designed into a well-planned city, rather than a future in which utilitarian devices have been affixed to surfaces as an afterthought.
The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is leading the global conversation on the shifting aesthetics of sustainable infrastructure. Recent trends in public acceptance of renewable energy have shown that resistance to a transition from fossil fuel dependence often takes refuge in arguments that hinge on questions of aesthetics. Meanwhile, the “gloom and doom” narrative of climate activism (rising sea levels, increasing storm intensities, corral bleaching, mass extinction, desertification), while based in scientific fact, can sometimes be polarizing to effective political change.
By presenting examples of utility-scale renewable energy infrastructures as public art, LAGI is helping to inspire the general public about the beauty of our sustainable future, and 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.
The presentation will show how interdisciplinary collaboration is playing an important role in defining the design influence of renewable energy on our constructed environments and point out the reciprocal role of society in defining the aesthetics of renewable energy infrastructure itself.