The main goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is to design and construct public art installations that have the added benefit of utility-scale clean energy generation. Each sculpture will continuously distribute clean energy into the electrical grid, with each having the potential to provide power to thousands of homes.
In January of 2010 LAGI put out our first international call to artists, architects, scientists, landscape architects, and engineers to come up with both aesthetic and pragmatic solutions for the 21st century energy crisis. The 2010 LAGI design competition was held for three sites in the UAE and we received hundreds of submissions from over 40 countries.
In partnership with New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation we held the 2012 LAGI design competition for a site within Freshkills Park (the former Fresh Kills Landfill). We received 250 submissions from around the world.
Submissions to both competitions can be found in our online portfolio.
The Land Art Generator Initiative has put together this free 73-page Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies.
Education and outreach are a primary focus of LAGI. We have written a "Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies," which can be downloaded for free. We have also designed an "energy literacy" project that intersects art, science, and sustainable technologies with the objective of educating people about the concepts of aesthetic clean energy generation. This includes a six step process:
1) Understanding Art Outside of the Gallery
2) Understanding the Science of Energy
3) Understanding Sustainable Technologies
4) Conceptual Framework
5) Design Your Own Renewable Energy Artwork
6) Upload Your Design to the LAGI Website
Art has the proven ability to create movements and stimulate creative dialogue. The artist community has long taken a critical approach to the problems of energy use and production, which has helped to open the public eye to the severity of the problems facing us. The time is now for artists to go further and take an active role in solving the problem through their own work: "solution-based art practice".
As we move towards our renewable energy future we should recognize the inherent differences that exist between the old and the new means of energy production and the change to built manifestations that consequently follow from this shift. When power generation facilities were adapted for the urban environment in previous eras, they necessarily responded to the aesthetic considerations of the time required of them to integrate with the fabric of the community. As the days of the gas or coal fired power plant at the farthest outskirts of the city come to a close, we will find more and more integration of energy production within the fabric of our commercial and residential communities. The need for large-scale exurban generation will always be there, but it will be augmented more and more by urban and rural micro-generation and mid-scale generation.
We live in a world that cross-culturally puts a high emphasis on design. As energy generation necessarily comes in closer proximity with the real estate that it powers, issues of aesthetics that drive acceptance are becoming more and more debated. A holistic approach to a renewable energy infrastructure has a place for both macro and micro-generation.
Macro installations in the landscape should also take care in their design to integrate with their surroundings both visually and environmentally. Micro installations should take care in their designs to integrate with the fabric of the urban community. Just as buildings and public art and land art exist as interventions in the fabric of the environment, so must power generation constructions—from our green fields to our suburbs to our downtowns—react responsibly to their role as permanent additions to our shared experience.
We have, on the one hand, an ever increasing drive toward designing buildings and cities to run on 100% renewable energy. The design community and city planners are moving in this direction driven by the collective will of society. On the other hand, we have technologies proliferating that are still rather utilitarian in their form such as the standard horizontal axis, three blade wind turbine. And these utilitarian forms are seeing some pushback from individual communities, especially as they come closer and closer to the city. The first warning signs of this are seen in rural mountaintop residential communities and coastal communities but this debate will only get more and more heated as the devices integrate into more dense urban environments.
What is needed in order to bridge the gap—between the larger desire for a renewable future and the community level negative reactions to the application of the systems required for it—is an artistic movement that can set a course towards aesthetic considerations in sustainable infrastructure.
Because, after all, sustainability in communities is not only about resources, it is also about harmony.
The strategic objective of the Land Art Generator Initiative is to advance the successful implementation of sustainable design solutions by integrating art and interdisciplinary creative processes into the conception of renewable energy infrastructure.
The project can be subdivided into four main areas of focus:
To learn more about how you can bring LAGI to your city please follow this link or click on the below image to go straight to the LAGI Benefits to Cities PDF Document.
For more information on the LAGI 2012 design competition for Freshkills Park in NYC please visit the competition section of this site.