Land Art Generator projects can be subdivided into five main areas of focus:

  • events & design competition
  • education
  • outreach
  • the construction of aesthetic renewable energy infrastructure
  • providing a platform for research, development, innovation, and emerging clean technologies


Theoretical Background

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.





Selected Essays by LAGI


Powering Places (2016)

Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian

LAGI Founding Co-Directors


Regenerative Infrastructures (2012)

Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian

LAGI Founding Co-Directors


Public Art of the Sustainable City (2010)

Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian

LAGI Founding Co-Directors






The goal of the Land Art Generator is to accelerate the transition to post-carbon economies by providing models of renewable energy infrastructure that add value to public space, inspire, and educate—while providing equitable power to thousands of homes around the world.

Project Description

The Land Art Generator has become one of the world’s most followed sustainable design events and is inspiring people everywhere about the promise of a net-zero carbon future. LAGI 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 and natural environments.

The goal of LAGI is to accelerate the transition to post-carbon economies by providing models of renewable energy infrastructure that add value to public space, inspire, and educate—while providing equitable power to thousands of homes around the world.


LAGI uses a variety of project delivery models to arrive at context-specific design solutions, including: a biennial design competition, invited competitions, commissions and RFPs, and facilitating participatory design processes within communities. From design through construction and operations, LAGI provides project management and owner representation, leading the coordination between stakeholders, consultants, community groups, and local authorities.


Presenting the power plant as public artwork— simultaneously enhancing the environment, increasing livability, providing a venue for learning, and stimulating local economic development—is a way to address a variety of issues from the perspective of the ecologically concerned artist and designer. By nature of its functional utility, the work also sets itself into many other overlapping disciplines from architecture and urban design to mechanical engineering and environmental science. This interdisciplinary result has the effect of both enhancing the level of innovation and broadening the audience for the work.


The design brief for the LAGI design competition contains the following baseline requirements—the artwork is to capture energy from nature, cleanly convert it into electricity, and transform and transmit the electrical power to a grid connection point to be supplied by the city. Consideration should be made for the safety of the viewing public and for the educational activities that may occur on site. The design should be constructible (rather than theoretical), and it must respect the natural ecosystem of the design sites.


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.


LAGI 2014 came to Copenhagen at an opportune moment. As the city (the European Green Capital of 2014) moves towards carbon neutral status by 2025 the debate over the aesthetic manifestation and human interaction component of our new energy infrastructure is becoming increasingly important to the planning strategies required to attain zero-carbon sustainability goals. LAGI has been delighted to be an event partner of Sharing Copenhagen, the official celebration of Copenhagen’s status of 2014 European Green Capital.


LAGI 2016 was held in Southern California, where we  addressed the energy-water nexus at a design site adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier.


LAGI 2018 was held in Melbourne Australia.


Educational programming and community collaboration are fundamental to all LAGI projects, beginning with early concept generation and continuing on site after each project is installed. LAGI has also developed an array of unique educational materials, including the Field Guide to Renewable Energy Infrastructure, Art+Energy Camps, Flash Cards, information graphics, publications, and more.