Energy Infrastructure Innovation: The Land Art Generator Initiative Public Lecture

The great energy transition will have an impact on our built environment and our visual landscape like no other technical shift since the automobile. Our cities and countrysides will look different in 2040 than they do today as distributed renewable energy infrastructures expand at a rapid pace. The common perception of these systems is of standard flat blue solar panels and three-blade horizontal axis wind turbines, separated from the public by chain link fences. Many people do not see these as welcome additions to more cherished cityscapes and rural viewsheds.

Rather than passively accepting these new energy systems as a necessary but aesthetically-unfortunate addition to our cities, we can instead present examples of renewable energy infrastructures that are cultural icons. In doing so, we can excite and inspire people to want more renewable energy, not only because it is a required response to greenhouse gas emissions reduction mandates, but because it is sexy and culturally-relevant.

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is a part of a global conversation on the shifting aesthetics of sustainable infrastructure. By presenting examples of utility-scale renewable energy infrastructures as public art, LAGI is inspiring 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.

In 2018, the LAGI competition comes to Melbourne and the State of Victoria and will be open to anyone around the world, inviting artists, designers, scientists, engineers, and others to submit proposals for large-scale and site-specific public art installations that generate clean energy for a site in Melbourne. The design brief is being carefully crafted with local partners to align with the strategic plans and cultural context of the local site, the city, and the region.

Past competitions have been held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (2010), New York City (2012), Copenhagen (2014), and Santa Monica (2016).



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