News and Events

Solar-powered Ring Garden marries desalination and agriculture for drought-stricken California

August 25th, 2016

Solar-powered Ring Garden marries desalination and agriculture for drought-stricken California
August 25, 2016
by Tafline Laylin

“With roughly 80 percent of California’s already-scarce water supply going to agriculture, it’s crucial for the state to embrace new technologies that shrink the amount of water required to grow food. Alexandru Predonu has designed an elegant solution that uses solar energy to power a rotating desalination plant and farm that not only produces clean drinking water for the city of Santa Monica, but also food crops – including algae. A finalist of this year’s Land Art Generator Initiative competition, a site-specific biennial design competition that has inspired world-renowned designs like The Pipe and Energy Duck, Ring Garden is capable of churning out 16 million gallons of clean water, 40,000 pounds of aeroponic crops, and 11,000 pounds of spirulina biomass for livestock feed.”

Read More >

The Independent

August 24th, 2016

The Independent
The solar-powered sculpture that could desalinate 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California
August 24, 2016
By Tim Walker

“Is it public art, or is it a power station? This shimmering design for “The Pipe”, a finalist in the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), is intended to blur the lines between the two. Imagined here as a floating installation off the coast of Santa Monica, California, the Pipe is an electromagnetic desalination device, powered by the sun. It also looks great on the horizon.”
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Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California

August 23rd, 2016

Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California
August 23, 2016
By Tafline Laylin

“The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water need not blight the landscape. The Pipe is one example of how producing energy can be knitted into every day life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. One of the finalists of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the design deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean.”
Read More >

Public Art to Generate Green Power

August 13th, 2016

XXI Architecture and Design Magazine
Public Art to Generate Green Power
August 12, 2016

“Conceived by Dalziel + Scullion, Qmulus Ltd., Yeadon Space Agency, and ZM Architecture, Wind Forest is a permanent public art installation that uses an innovative form of wind power to generate enough electricity for approximately 300 dwellings.

The project will be an important part of the new mixed-use development currently being planned for 100 Acre Hill (also known as Dundas Hill) in Glasgow, Scotland. Beyond Glasgow, the project also resonates with issues connected with the reinvention of urban brownfield sites throughout multiple global post-industrial cities. The proposal has won the LAGI (the Land Art Generator Initiative) Glasgow international design competition that challenged participants to bring creative solutions for a clean energy infrastructure to a brownfield site. Wind Forest aims to transform the post-industrial landscape of 100 Acre Hill, with an enriched infrastructure that is based on ideas around technology, landscape and context. On the site, groves of bladeless wind turbines with different spatial, sensory and environmental qualities are planned. Hence, Wind Forest mimics the activity of a forest by absorbing energy from the passing wind, and distributing it to its diverse and connected community ecosystem.

Wind Forest works with the physical landscape of 100 Acre Hill, upon which one hundred 4 kW single stem-like wind turbines will be planted. A revolution in wind energy design, these stems have no blades, have no gears or bearings, are noiseless, and do not present a hazard to birds. Instead, they generate electricity by oscillating, resulting in reduced maintenance costs, reduced manufacturing costs, reduced transportation costs, and smaller foundations.”

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Bustler: The “techno-boreal” Wind Forest Wins the LAGI Glasgow Competition

August 1st, 2016

The “techno-boreal” Wind Forest Wins the LAGI Glasgow Competition
Jul 28, 2016
By Justine Testado

“The Land Art Generator Initiative competition proves once again that clean-energy design can be pleasing to the eyes. The LAGI competition challenges inter-disciplinary design teams to propose permanent public art installations that are equipped with the latest technological innovations in sustainable energy. Following successful competitions in Copenhagen, Dubai, and New York, the 2016 site was a new mixed-use development currently planned for Dundas Hill (or 100 Acre Hill), a post-industrial brownsite in Glasgow.

When it comes to wind energy, most people imagine rows of spinning wind turbines you’d typically find in the middle of a vast desert or a field. A team comprising of Peter Foster Richardson (ZM Architecture), Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion (Dalziel + Scullion), Ian Nicoll (Qmulus Ltd.), and Peter Yeadon (Yeadon Space Agency) created their own version of the wind turbine with their proposal, “Wind Forest”, which was selected as the winning commission. The other top-winning proposals were “Watergaw” and “Dundas Dandelions”.”

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Presentation in San Antonio on July 19, 2016

July 15th, 2016

We will be speaking in San Antonio on the Aesthetics of Renewable Energy on July 19, 2016 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the Center for Architecture, 1344 South Flores, San Antonio, TX 78204. The event is co-sponsored by the Land Heritage Institute and the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Made possible through support from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

There is a nice article in the San Antonio Current, and don’t miss reading this great piece by Penelope Boyer, who has coordinate the event, in the Rivard Report.

The New American Patriot: Climate Art in the Public Interest

June 29th, 2016

Land Art Generator Initiative public art proposals will be on display at The Box Gallery as a part of The New American Patriot: Climate Art in the Public Interest. Thanks to Mary Jo Aagerstoun for including us in the exhibition.

Opening Reception
Friday, July 1, 2016 | 7 p.m.
The Box Gallery
811b- Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33405

The Box Gallery located at 811b Belvedere Road presents The New American Patriot: Climate Art in the Public Interest Exhibition. This exhibition brings together some of the most powerful artists and artists organizations creating “Art in the Public Interest.” The exhibition is nation-wide artist response to climate change in a wide variety of approaches from visual witticisms and colorful installations, to some very sobering documentary pieces.

The American Patriot celebrates and includes the work of Hot Posse, The Yes Men, Annie Sprinkle, Steve Lambert, Rolando Chang Barrero, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto, The Center for Creative Activism, Aviva Rahmani, Overpass Light Brigade, The Climate Action Coalition, Xavier Cortada, Dana Donaty, Birds are Nice, Craig McInnis, Nadia Utto, Bethany Taylor, Roseanne Truxes Livingston, David Peck, Elizabeth Reed, Lloyd Goradesky, The Post Carbon Institute, Mary Jo Aagerstoun, Jesse Etelson, Shawn Robbins, Jerry Lind, Jan Booher, Lane Hall, Joe Brusky, Kim Heise, Marika Stone, Sarah Younger, and others…
7:30 Spoken Performance by Marika Stone.

LAGI Glasgow showcases new energy art designs along Scotland’s canal banks

June 10th, 2016

LAGI Glasgow showcases new energy art designs along Scotland’s canal banks
June 9, 2016
by Cat DiStasio

“In its latest effort to showcase clean energy projects, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) has announced a new exhibition at the Lighthouse in Glasgow, Scotland. On display at LAGI Glasgow will be a series of designs for a proposed renewable energy project targeted for the banks of two intersecting canals in the city in the Port Dundas area. The creations were developed collaboratively by agencies in Scotland as well as from other countries, demonstrating something of a global partnership in support of renewable energy projects—with a certain aesthetic flair, of course.”
More >

Green Tease: Land Art Generator Initiative

June 9th, 2016

Green Tease: Land Art Generator Initiative
Where: The Lighthouse, Galleries 4 and 5, Glasgow Scotland
When: June 29, 2016 from 6–7:30 PM

What would a renewable energy project for Glasgow look like if the design process was led by artists, architects, landscape architects, and urban planners, working in collaboration with engineers?

Over the past ten months, three interdisciplinary design teams have worked together on proposals for a new renewable energy generation site in Port Dundas, Glasgow in association with the internationally acclaimed Land Art Generator Initiative. The teams have included artists Alec Finlay, Dalziel + Scullion and public art agency Pidgin Perfect.

Coinciding with an exhibition of the resulting designs at the Lighthouse, you are invited to join Creative Carbon Scotland and partners from Land Art Generator Initiative Glasgow — Chris Fremantle (eco/art/scotland) and Heather Claridge (Glasgow City Council) – for a discussion of the role of creative processes in the development of renewable energy infrastructure in Glasgow.

As part of the ongoing Green Tease series, this event will focus on the potential for collaborative working between cultural and sustainability sectors to affect a wider transition to a more environmentally sustainable Scotland.

You can find out more about the LAGI Glasgow project and partners here.

The event will begin with a viewing of the LAGI Glasgow exhibition in Galleries 4 and 5 of the Lighthouse (from 5:30 – 6pm) followed by a facilitated by a talk and discussion with refreshments provided (6 – 7:30pm).

‘Windforest’ plan wins out in Port Dundas energy competition

June 2nd, 2016

Urban Realm
‘Windforest’ plan wins out in Port Dundas energy competition
May 31, 2016

“Situated on Dundashill, an area prioritised for regeneration by Glasgow City Council, the submission features a cluster of 13m tall wind turbines capable of generating electricity through oscillation and was one of three shortlisted schemes to be conceived in collaboration between artists, architects, engineers, scientists, landscape architects and urban planners.”
Read More >

Las Vegas Weekly

June 2nd, 2016

Las Vegas Weekly
By Kristen Peterson
June 2, 2016

“While sharing a bottle of wine and overlooking the indoor ski resort inside the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian mapped out a plan for clean energy in the realm of public art. Both Carnegie Mellon University grads, Ferry, an architect, and Monoian, then an art and design professor at Dubai’s Zayed University, focused on site-specific projects that would bring together artists, architects, scientists and engineers to find aesthetic alternatives in harvesting clean energy. Four international biennial competitions later (Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2010, Copenhagen in 2012, New York City in 2014 and Santa Monica in 2016) and operating as the Land Art Generator Initiative, they’ve turned their attention to Las Vegas as a potential site for 2018.”

Read More >

Plans to create electricity for Glasgow

May 30th, 2016

Glasgow Live
May 30, 2016
Plans to create electricity for Glasgow using rainbows and a massive dandelion, in Land Art Generator Initiative

The three designs aim to create pieces of urban art that also generate electricity.
Proposals which would see electricity generated for the city using pieces of urban art have been drawn up.
The designs, which include a water turbine that generates rainbows and a huge dandelion, have been created for the Landscape Art Generator Initiative. They will be going on display for public viewing at the Lighthouse in Glasgow next month.
The three designs aim to create pieces of urban art that also generate electricity.
One design put forward is called the Dundas Dandelions and is intended to be placed at Dundas Hill overlooking the city and adjacent to the motorway.

More >

The Scotsman: Designs for Urban Site Harness Power of Art

May 29th, 2016

The Scotsman
Designs for Urban Site Harness Power of Art
May 29, 2016
By Alison Campsie

More >

LAGI Glasgow Exhibition at The Lighthouse

May 24th, 2016

LAGI Glasgow Exhibition
The Lighthouse
Glasgow, Scotland
Opens: 9 June
Closes: 29 July 2016

The LAGI Glasgow exhibition showcases the outcomes of the invited design competition for Port Dundas that brings creative solutions for clean energy infrastructure to the brownfield site—the perfect project to combine the sustainable, creative and pioneering vision of Glasgow’s Canal Regeneration Partnership and link in to Glasgow’s response to Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

Energy policy and infrastructure have become critical areas of debate and activism. Scotland has world leading targets for transitioning to renewables as well as conflicting views about land management and ownership and challenges in integrating renewables in to landscapes and communities.

The Land Art Generator Initiative addresses these challenges by involving artists, designers, architects, urban planners and landscape architects in envisaging utility scale renewable energy installations. Bringing together the issues of placemaking with those of renewable energy is a game-changing approach to regeneration.

Three Glasgow creative practices collaborated with international designers to arrive at the proposals on display in the exhibition. Each incorporates renewable energy technologies as the media for the creation of park-like spaces that are integrated into the fabric of the new mixed-use development currently being planned for Dundas Hill. Visitors will be inspired to learn about creative ways to harness the power of natural energies to power our post-carbon economies while enhancing the beauty of our cities and landscapes.

The exhibition also includes outcomes of past LAGI projects for Dubai/Abu Dhabi, New York City, and Copenhagen.

LAGI Testimonial for the CA State Senate, Joint Committee on the Arts

May 12th, 2016

Joint Committee on the Arts
Senator Ben Allen, Chair
Assembly Member Kansen Chu, Vice Chair

Informational Hearing: “California’s Creative Economy: Annual Update and Regional Breakdowns”
Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 1:30 p.m.
State Capitol, Room 3191, Sacramento, CA 95814

Elizabeth Monoian (LAGI Co-Director) gave the below testimonial:

Good afternoon Senate and Assembly members of the Joint Committee of the Arts. Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak to you about my experience working in California’s Creative Economy.

The Land Art Generator Initiative has created a platform to re-imagine our future energy landscapes through a creative lens. Inviting interdisciplinary teams around the world to conceive of large-scale public artworks that have the added benefit of producing clean energy at a utility-scale.
In addition to a wide-range of programming we hold an international design competition on a biennial schedule:

Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2010, New York City in 2012, and in 2014 the site was an old shipyard visible from the Little Mermaid in the Copenhagen Harbor—all sites that inherently inspire and bring the greatest minds around the world to the table with the idea that renewable energy infrastructure can also be an enhancement to public space—that cities can meet ambitious carbon goals while creating new and exciting places for recreation and learning.

The outcomes of these past design competitions show that we can begin to think about renewable energy installations as more than just utilitarian objects. *And that by doing so, we can drive innovation and spark imaginations. Inspired by the way grass blades wave in the wind, Windstalk from LAGI 2010 can generate electricity for more than 1,000 homes without rotating turbine blades.

A number of things attracted us to bring LAGI to Southern California in 2016. We knew that renewable energy is a top priority in California. That, paired with the seriousness of the drought led us to choose a coastal site adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier and to expand our design brief to include drinking water harvesting technologies. The City of Santa Monica is a great partner to the project and the site is inspiring the world to imagine what our renewable energy and sustainable water future can aspire to be in its constructed form. *The competition closes in four days and in October we will announce the winning design at Greenbuild 2016 at the LA Convention Center and at an exhibition in Santa Monica.

For every competition we create unique educational materials like our Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies, Art+Energy Flash Cards, and others. Last year we launched a Youth Prize for middle school and high school students, with the intention of building a global community of young people equipped to design our energy landscapes. We were thrilled when we were invited to speak by the Museum of Art & History (MOAH) to the School Board meeting in the Antelope Valley of California, and overwhelmed by the reception we received. Donita Winn the Chair of the School Board, declared that the Antelope Valley was going to win! She took this seriously and reached out to the high schools throughout the valley encouraging them to participate. MOAH helped coordinate workshops, presentations, and meetings with many area schools.

The Creative Economy is what results when public policy is put in place to nurture a social environment ripe for innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration. This requires expanding public access to the arts and humanities and increasing opportunities for education that does not forsake art and creativity for a focus on math and science. Within the context of the work that we do, they all should exist together in a continuum of research and practice.

Science and technology provides the framework for the artistic and educational practice of the Land Art Generator Initiative. At the same time we are closing the loop on the art-science continuum as the design outcomes of LAGI influence the way that scientists and engineers see their work.

Biologist E.O. Wilson in The Meaning of Human Existence(1) makes a point about what is our most important possession as a species and concludes that it is the humanities rather than our scientific achievements. In fact, the sciences need the humanities in order to continue to advance. In the search for breakthroughs, scientific teams are expanding and becoming more academically diverse. Further advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, and energy science will all require creative thinking and a strong ethical foundation to ensure that they are aligned with our cultural values. This requires that the scientists of tomorrow find their education steeped deeply in the arts and humanities today.

The Land Art Generator Initiative is founded on this notion. To that end we provide project-based learning through programs like our Art+Energy Camps. The Camps provide participating youth with critical skills in STEAM subjects by implementing the design/engineering process for innovative solutions and built outcomes that provide sustainable energy to communities.

Providing STEM education to middle school and high school youth using the ARTS as the delivery vehicle is an engaging way to instill an early interest in the scientific method, provide useful technical skills, and introduce systems thinking. These are the types of skills that can help youth create positive change in their own neighborhoods and put them on a path toward innovative and fulfilling careers.

We held our first Art+Energy Camp in 2015 in Pittsburgh and this summer we are thrilled to be working closely with the Museum of Art+History in Lancaster, CA to bring this programming to youth in the Antelope Valley. Through the course of 4-weeks the 2016 LAGI Art+Energy Camp will provide youth with an education in energy science, climate science, art, design, and solar power. Youth will follow the design process to arrive at a pragmatic solution for a work of public art that generates clean energy utilizing solar panels for a roundabout in Lancaster, CA.

According to a recent report highlighted by the World Economic Forum(2), as automation continues to change the workplace, the highest valued skills are increasingly dominated by creativity, critical thinking, complex problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and emotional intelligence—all qualities that require the arts to be integrally interwoven into the fabric of our lives.

We are fortunate to be working in California, a state where this important conversation is being taken very seriously. Thank you all for the work that you are doing to increase support for the arts to the benefit of people and economic progress. We look forward to future projects in this State and to the opportunity to construct many of the design ideas you saw here today so that they can contribute to California’s renewable energy portfolio while attracting people from around the world to these new civic art inventions.


LAGI Founding Co-Directors, Elizabeth Monoian & Robert Ferry


May 10th, 2016

We were thrilled to be included at Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum a year ago. They are now checking in with Global Learning Forum alumni in a series called “The Front Line of Energy” to find out what’s shifted in their work over the past year and to hear their thoughts on the future of energy.

You can follow this link to see the interviews. Read >

Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian are the Founding Directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), which works to address the issue of public acceptance of localized renewable energy infrastructures by providing models of energy generation architecture that rise to the level of contemporary public art. Every two years LAGI holds an international design competition, which has thus far been held in Dubai, New York City, and Copenhagen, and is coming to Los Angeles in 2016.

Robert and Elizabeth believe that renewables are beautiful. Their passion was on full display at our Global Learning Forum where they delivered a compelling PechaKucha presentation, a gallery of leading energy-generating art concepts from their competitions, and a session called, “Aesthetics, integration, and building support for urban renewables.”

How did participating in the Global Learning Forum impact your work?

“For us, one of the biggest benefits was participating in the PechaKucha night. It allowed us to speak to a broad audience that included policy makers, mayors, and renewable energy developers. People then recognized us for the next two days of the Forum and engaged us in dialogue—new people were opening up to us. Shortly thereafter, we did another PechaKucha in Pittsburgh!”

What’s happened in your work over the last year?

“We’re proud to say that we’ve been awarded the J.M.K. Innovation Prize [the award supports social entrepreneurs across the United States who are spearheading game-changing solutions to our society’s most urgent challenges.], which has allowed us to solidify our organizational structure.

We are expanding greatly beyond our biennial design competitions. For example, we are currently in the process of working with a fashion designer to pilot wearable renewable electricity-generating technology with a Maasai community in Kenya. It’s a co-design process that will create a line of bespoke jewelry and other products with embedded solar. The designs will improve the livelihoods of the Maasai people and bring sustainable income to the Olorgasailie Maasai Women Artisans collective.

Our second Art+Energy Camp targeting low-income neighbourhoods will be taking place in Lancaster, California, and is modeled after our successful 2015 program in Pittsburgh. We are creating opportunities for young people to learn about the design of energy infrastructure and its impact on our landscape and environment. Following tours of nuclear and coal plants, a variety of renewable energy installations, and lessons about energy science and art outside the gallery, the students will take part in the design of a 5 kWh solar energy-generating public artwork that will help power a local community centre. The students have all been very engaged and a part of every meeting—with fabricators to engineers to solar installers.”

This year, our biennial design competition is taking place at a coastal site adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier. This offers teams the opportunity to design with wave and tidal, in addition to wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies. The award event will take place at Greenbuild 2016 in Los Angeles in October.

In 2015, we worked with the City of Glasgow to put together a design brief and hold a competition to create a renewable energy-generating sculpture at a brownfield site as a part of a Scottish Canals regeneration project. The idea is to use the natural energies at a site as a form generator, creating a public park and infrastructural artwork that will be the cornerstone of the developer’s master plan. Three local practices—architects, artists, and energy scientists—were paired with a past biennial participant in an invited competition. The exhibition is taking place at the Lighthouse in Glasgow, opening on June 9, 2016.”

What have been some of the biggest developments and trends in renewable energy over this past year?

“For one, the number of renewable energy installations is outpacing conventional fossil fuels. The renewable energy shift is already occurring and the prices are dropping exponentially in the marketplace. The trend lines are amazing!”

How has this affected your work?

“In the design world, the cost of solar panels per square foot is now on par with any other type of high-performance exterior material. When design is done properly from the concept stage, there is no excuse not to incorporate RE, particularly with photovoltaics. While we’ve seen a lot of companies come and go, certain markets are getting more traction and we’re optimistic. We’re at the beginning of an explosion of opportunities, especially with flexible and thin materials with roll rooftop applications coming online.”

What are the next big issues to watch?

”We are concerned with the social impacts of some large renewable energy projects that can displace people—for example, centralized energy projects cutting off grazing land for the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania. The utility-scale electricity is going to the national grid to feed Nairobi and large industry, with nothing going back to the people whose lives are disrupted. They derive no economic or social benefit. We hope that renewable energy infrastructure planning can be proactively a part of solutions to socioeconomic issues as well as environmental issues. With the capital costs of installations going down, there is an opportunity for large projects to share the benefits. Likewise, decentralized renewable energy and energy cooperatives can provide energy justice solutions while increasing resiliency.”

LAGI at University of Warwick

May 9th, 2016

LAGI Directors Elizabeth Monoian & Robert Ferry will be speaking at the University of Warwick
WHEN: Tuesday, 7 June 2016 from 12:30 to 14:30
WHERE: The University of Warwick (Room MS.04 Zeeman Building), Coventry, United Kingdom

Balance-Unbalance 2016

April 22nd, 2016

LAGI’s Co-Director Robert Ferry will be a Keynote Speaker
BunB 2016: “Data Science + Eco Action
Manizales, Colombia
May 11, 2016

BunB 2016: Data Science + Eco Action
“How can we extract knowledge from large volumes of environmental and related data? How that can be used in benefit of the human society? What should we change in our thinking and in our behaviour? Individual vs community vs global: What matters? Why big or complex data is so relevant to our daily life? How the capture, analysis, curation, sharing, storage… and control of large data could rapidly change our world? What positive sides does it have? What not so positive, and even risks does it have? What data science has to do with humanitarian organizations? And with electronic art?

We want to inspire explorations of how artists can participate in this major challenge of our ecological crisis. We need to use creative tools and transdisciplinary action to create perceptual, intellectual and pragmatic changes. We want to discuss our proposals for the future from a diversity of cultural perspectives and socio-economic situations with open minds.”

More here >

LAGI Lecture at Arizona State University

April 16th, 2016

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

More here >

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.

LAGI Lecture at Solar City

April 16th, 2016

LAGI Directors Elizabeth Monoian & Robert Ferry
Speaking on the Aesthetics of Renewable Energy
April 19, 1:00
Solar City
6569 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 200
Las Vegas, Nevada

A Vision of Clean Energy Public Art: LAGI Visits Las Vegas

April 14th, 2016

Huffington Post
A Vision of Clean Energy Public Art: LAGI Visits Las Vegas
April 14, 2016
by JK Russ
“Rows of elevated solar panels rise up from the cacti garden in front of the new Las Vegas City Hall. At night the harnessed solar energy lights up a blue-toned electronic display on glass fins across the building’s façade. It’s the perfect venue for a presentation on the intersection of renewable energy and art by internationally renowned Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI).” Read More >

LAGI Lecture in Kampala Uganda

March 10th, 2016

LAGI Directors will be presenting to students and faculty of Makerere University in Kampala Uganda.
Date: March 10, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Location: Makerere University, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology

Las Vegas Weekly

February 17th, 2016


Thank you Pam Stuckey at Renewable Envoy for inviting us to speak and to everyone who attended last evening’s discussion at Las Vegas City Council Chambers. The event received a very welcome notice in Las Vegas Weekly:

In 2010 the Land Art Generator Initiative held its first international design competition for innovative and art-based solutions to the renewable energy landscape. Teams from more than 40 countries submitted ideas and concepts, from sculptural wind turbines, solar pyramids and solar carpets to minimalist fields designed to harvest natural energy.

Tonight LAGI’s co-founders Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian will be discussing the role of technology in art at the Las Vegas City Council Chambers. Public Art within the Urban Fabric of a Sustainable Future, hosted by Southern Nevada’s Renewable Envoy, is part of LAGI’s focus: Renewable energy infrastructures placed harmoniously within our urban and suburban landscapes through collaborations between architects, artists, scientists and engineers. Capture, convert, transform and transmit.

Tonight’s presentation comes amid LAGI’s fourth biannual international competition (held this year in Santa Monica), which is currently seeking innovative ideas for harvesting energy and generating clean water through May 15. February 16, 6 p.m. Las Vegas City Council Chambers, 495 S. Main St.

LAGI Lecture in Las Vegas

February 10th, 2016

Public art within the urban fabric of a sustainable future

The renewable energy revolution will have a resounding influence on the design of public space in the coming decades. The Land Art Generator Initiative is showing how innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration, culture, and the expanding role of technology in art can help to shape the aesthetic impact of renewable energy on our constructed environments.

Renewable Envoy invites you to a presentation on renewable energy and art by LAGI Co-Founders Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian.

Location: Las Vegas City Council Chambers, 495 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Time: 6pm
Date: February 16, 2016

Museum of Art & History (MOAH): Green Revolution

February 10th, 2016

Green Revolution at Museum of Art & History
Several LAGI submissions from past competitions are on display from February 13 – April 17 at the Museum of Art & History (MOAH) in Lancaster, California.
Exhibition Title: Green Revolution
Opening Reception: February 20, 2016
Location: 665 West Lancaster BLVD, Lancaster CA 93534
Learn more here >

The Scotsman

December 8th, 2015

The Scotsman
Green energy scheme aims to bring beauty to renewables
By Alison Campsie

ART and science fuses in Glasgow to power a new generation of “beautiful renewables”

A challenge to make “beautiful renewables” that combine high quality public art with the next generation of green energy schemes is now underway in Scotland. 
Architects from New York, Los Angeles and Berlin are advising three Scottish teams of creatives and scientists who are competing to design a renewables scheme at Dundas Hill , Glasgow, that is capable of powering at least 50 new homes.

Read More >

IgniteChannel: Land Art Generator: Can Artists Create Renewable Energy?

December 1st, 2015

Land Art Generator: Can Artists Create Renewable Energy?
November 24, 2015
By Kimberly Lauren Bryant

Take one part public, mix it with two parts renewable energy, and what do you get? A recipe for sustainable solutions that enhance local culture. And if there were a head chef, it’d probably be Land Art Generator, an initiative that aims to create more energy sources from works of art. Bringing together artists, architects, and engineers, they’re finding ways to bring renewable energy to homes through public art.

Read More Here >

Forecast Public Art: Public Art Review

November 19th, 2015

Land Art Generator Initiative
Where public art and energy generation combine
November 18, 2015
By Katie Jones Schmitt, the Benchmarking Outreach Coordinator for Center for Energy and Environment and the City of Minneapolis.

On November 9th, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) landed at Forecast Public Art. This exciting program, which seeks to combine energy traditions of yesteryear and creative clean energy ideas of today, inspired the room of approximately 30 artists, city staffers, designers, and engineers to think about how collaborations of artists, engineers, and architects can bring cleaner, more local, energy back to our cities.

In today’s world, powerplants typically serve one practical purpose: to provide energy in a cost effective manner. Many of them are located far from where the energy is used, are generally unslightly, and most people have no connection to energy generation. But it was not always that way. At the turn of the last century, powerplants were found in urban cores, since energy couldn’t be transmitted very far, and because of their central location, they took on architecture styles consistent with those of surrounding buildings of the time.

Read More >

LAGI in the Weekly Buzz!

November 16th, 2015

Context Sustainability’s Weekly buzz—what you need to know

November 13, 2015
By Sophia Ingram

“With so much news from so many sources, it can be difficult to keep tabs on what’s happening in the world of sustainability. To help, we’ve pulled together the top five most buzz-worthy, inspiring updates from this week…”

The article contains summaries of five articles with links, including the Guardian article about LAGI, along with articles about sustainability news related to McDonalds, Starbucks, Give-back Fashion, and the Purpose-Driven Workforce

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize

November 12th, 2015

The Land Art Generator Initiative has been awarded the
J.M.K. Innovation Prize, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund

“Launched in early 2015, The J.M.K. Innovation Prize was designed to seek out boldly promising ideas in the field of social-sector innovation—however untested or wherever they arise.”

We are very fortunate to be one of the ten awardees. We’d like to extend our thanks to, and share this recognition with, the thousands of participants in LAGI design competitions, whose amazing innovations make LAGI possible. The above image is composed of thumbnails of the work that can be seen in the online LAGI portfolio.

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize will allow LAGI to expand consulting and project management work in cities around the world that are seeking creative ways of integrating sustainable infrastructures into regenerative planning and projects.

Over the next few years, LAGI will be working closely with our design partners (past LAGI design competition participants) on the detailed design and construction of many regenerative public art installations at various scales and site contexts.

The Prize will also help to support the 2016 LAGI Design Competition for Southern California. LAGI 2016 is re-imagining the coast of Santa Monica by inviting individuals and interdisciplinary teams to design a large-scale, site-specific work of public art that also serves as clean energy and/or drinking water infrastructure for the City of Santa Monica.

The Importance of LAGI

We’re helping to educate the next generation of artists, architects, engineers, city planners, landscape architects, designers, and scientists, who will find greater innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration and creativity. The LAGI design challenge provides project-based learning in STEM subjects through engagement with art and creativity.

As we work together to design and implement a post-carbon world, the impact of sustainable infrastructures on the constructed environment is becoming an important focus of city planning and architecture. At the same time, a culture war over land use has slowed the implementation of many proposed wind and solar installations.

By engaging communities with an inspiring vision of our sustainable future and providing context-specific solutions for sensitive sites, we would like to help turn the tide of public discourse and bring about universal support for immediate investment in 100% renewable infrastructure.

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize process of selection was its own innovation in philanthropic award management (as a project that designs and runs competitions, it’s a subject that LAGI is interested in!). 373 volunteer reviewers were recruited from the Fund’s network to review 1,138 applications from 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Each application was scored by at least 6 reviewers, after which 202 entries were advanced to the second round. More complete applications were read by subject matter and social innovation experts in disciplines including justice, education, human rights, food systems, public health, energy, natural resources, and the arts.

We congratulate the J.M. Kaplan Fund on their development of the J.M.K. Innovation Prize and thank them for their generous support.

The Guardian

November 7th, 2015

Public art projects that double as renewable energy sources
by Kristine Wong
November 7, 2015

Two Pittsburgh artists are encouraging cities around the world to install public art structures designed to generate power while educating viewers about renewable energy

What happens when renewable energy meets public art? The Land Art Generator Initiative, or Lagi, founded by Pittsburgh-based artists Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, is trying to find the answer with several proposed public art structures designed to generate power while inspiring and educating their viewers.

The initiative has collected hundreds of designs from competitions held in Abu Dhabi, New York City and Copenhagen. At the 2016 competition, which will be held in Santa Monica, California, entrants will design structures that harvest clean energy or generate clean drinking water.

“Public art can contribute to the solutions we need to steer us away from the effects of climate change,” Monoian said at October’s SXSW Eco conference in Austin, Texas.

Read more at the Guardian–>

LAGI Lecture: Emily Carr University

November 3rd, 2015

LAGI Co-Directors Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry had the great opportunity to present the LAGI project to an audience of foundation students at Emily Carr University in Vancouver BC on November 2, 2015. Thank you to Glen Lowry for inviting and hosting us!

Beautiful Renewables: Energy in urban settings – cultural and community benefits?

October 28th, 2015

As we aggressively implement strategies towards 100% carbon-free energy and witness a greater proliferation of renewable energy infrastructures in our cities and landscapes, we have a great opportunity to proactively address the aesthetic influence of these new machines through the lenses of planning, urban design, community benefit and creative placemaking.

Please join the Land Art Generator Initiative, Creative Carbon Scotland, SCENE Consulting and ecoartscotland for a presentation and discussion about the aesthetic and cultural implications and the concomitant potential for community benefit of renewable energy infrastructure.

LAGI Founding Directors Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry will speak about the LAGI 2016 Open Competition and the LAGI Glasgow project, highlighting the role that creatives are playing in the design of our energy futures.

November 18 2015 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
High School Yards
Edinburgh, EH1 1LZ

More Here >

Forecast Public Art – LAGI Lectures

October 28th, 2015

Forecast Public Art LAGI Lectures

Monday, November 9, 7 – 9pm
Ferry & Monoian will discuss the Land Art Generator Initiative as a practice, and
address questions about its formation, what it means to pair art+ energy, the
kinds of education and outreach strategies they employ, and the current and
future role of designers in this movement.
Refreshments served.

Tuesday, November 10, 8 – 10am
Ferry & Monoian will discuss their working relationships with cities and
government entities during Land Art Generator competitions. This session will
address these questions and more: How do the partnerships form between
LAGI and a city? What are the practical and logistical considerations of this
project when it comes to the city? What happens after the competition is over?
How does the host city benefit from the competition?
Breakfast served.

Both events will take place at:
Forecast Public Art
2300 Myrtle Street, Ste. 160
St. Paul, MN 55114


Students Design Solar Artwork, Power Disadvantaged Neighborhood With Clean Energy

October 27th, 2015

Students Design Solar Artwork, Power Disadvantaged Neighborhood With Clean Energy
We Are Anonymous
October 27th, 2015
By Vandita

Because Western Pennsylvania has a very high mix of coal-fired power, which contributes to consistently poor air quality in the Pittsburgh region, a team of 20 local kids aged between 8 and 17, as part of a six-week Art+Energy summer camp, successfully designed and installed “Renaissance Gate” – a public artwork using solar panels, aesthetically angled to both take in sunlight and surround the steel frame of an arched gate – to generate renewable energy and light up the disadvantaged neighborhood.

Read More >

takepart: Kids Create Street Art That Generates Solar Power

October 24th, 2015

Kids Create Street Art That Generates Solar Power
A Pittsburgh project is designed to light up a disadvantaged neighborhood and show an alternative-energy future in a coal state.
October 23, 2015
By Kristine Wong

Pennsylvania’s coal industry may be in decline, but in one of Pittsburgh’s toughest neighborhoods, a solar project could become a symbol of a brighter future.

Since August, Homewood residents have walked through the Renaissance Gate—a public art and solar installation built and designed by local youths during a six-week summer camp—and seen the Western Pennsylvania sun power their cell phones and light up the community center next door.

Read More >

Artpark Guest Artist Presentation

October 10th, 2015

On Thursday November 12 at 5:30 PM, we will be presenting LAGI at DeVeaux Woods State Park (3180 DeVeaux Woods Drive East, Niagara Falls).

We very much appreciate the invitation from Artpark. The talk is a part of their fall guest artist presentation series in which the “public is invited to explore the modern issues of sustainability and community development through the capabilities of public art.”

CORO Water Conference

October 10th, 2015

We are honored to be a part of the 7th annual Coro Water & Sustainability Conference on Tuesday, October 20TH at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, California.

We’ll be on the response panel of the CORO Hackathon Presentation along with Lauren Bonn and Margaret Bruning.

“Civic Art and Society” How can art shape public opinion on water?

The Coro Hackathon is a civic adaptation of the modern technical hackathon model. With minds instead of computers and inquiry instead of coding, Coro Fellows explore and synthesize the logic of a given societal issue.

Hackathon Response Panel:
Lauren Bon
Metabolic Studios

Margaret Bruning
Director of Civic Art
Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Robert Ferry
Founding Co-Director
Land Art Generator Initiative

About Coro:

Coro was founded in San Francisco in 1942 by W. Donald Fletcher, an attorney, and Van Duyn Dodge, an investment counselor, to train young veterans in the leadership skills necessary to assure that our democratic system of government could more effectively meet the needs of its citizens.

Since 1947, when the first program was delivered, Coro has grown to include Coro Centers in six cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles (1957), St. Louis (1972), Kansas City (1975), New York (1980), and Pittsburgh (1999).

300-400 participants a year go through Coro programs nationwide. At least 10,000 program alumni are currently serving as leaders in local, regional and national/global businesses, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and elected public office.

The four Centers, Programs and licensees, and an alumni service organization, are connected supported and leveraged as a system by Coro National, a 501(c) 3 governing body that serves as the national voice and partner for the regional centers and alumni participants, and works to build capacity for the system and enhance program quality standards and innovation.

Coro is a non-profit, non-partisan educational institute supported by foundations, corporations and individuals.

Daily Mail: How many solar panels would it take to power the PLANET?

October 7th, 2015

Daily Mail
By Victoria Woollaston
October 7, 2015

How many solar panels would it take to power the PLANET?
Experts reveal we would need to cover an area the size of Spain to provide the world with enough energy. The calculations were made by Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian from the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI)

They used US Department of Energy data about the world consumption of energy with projected figures up to 2030.

From this, they worked out how much energy would be needed per square metre of land across the globe.

Panels would need to cover 191,817 sq miles (496,805 sq km) of land to power the world with solar panels – the equivalent to covering the whole of Spain with the boards.

Read more >

LAGI Exhibition at “Powering Our Renewable Energy Future” Conference in Eastern Maryland

October 2nd, 2015

LAGI is delighted to have an exhibition of past competition submissions as a part of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s 16th Eastern Shore Planning Conference “Powering Our Renewable Energy Future.”

Where: The Tidewater Inn, in Easton, Maryland
When: Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Eastern Shore has the potential to be the undisputed leader in Maryland’s renewable energy generation and locally produced renewable energy holds a promise of future resilience and prosperity.

Accomplishing this includes balancing the expense to resources like tillable acreage, wildlife habitat, rural vistas, and more. How can the Eastern Shore’s communities, residents, and industries benefit from clean, affordable renewable energy while maintaining its rural landscapes and independent character?

This conference seeks to understand:

  • what renewable energy technologies are available today;
  • what emerging technologies exist;
  • how can renewable energy properly fit into a rural landscape;
  • how can rural industries, like agriculture, take advantage of renewable energy technologies;
  • how can broader renewable energy adoption help make communities more resilient and add to the rural independent character of the region; and
  • how can residents and communities participate in the benefits of renewable energy?