Land Art Generator Initiative

Seattle, US

The Land Art Generator provides a platform for artists, architects, landscape architects, and other creatives working with engineers and scientists to bring forward human-centered solutions for sustainable energy infrastructures that enhance the city as works of public art while cleanly powering thousands of homes.

Land Art Generator installations are works of public art that:

• Capture energy from nature and cleanly convert it into electricity

• Pay back their environmental footprint and construction cost by producing kilowatt-hours of energy that offset existing uses

• Create a unique experience for the public and stimulate an increase in visitors to the site (power plants as tourist attractions!)

• Create places for leisure and learning

• Do not negatively impact the environment

• Increase livability of communities

The Land Art Generator International Design Competitions have become one of the world’s most followed sustainable design events 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: its 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 United Arib Emirates 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 are addressing the energy-water nexus at a design site adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier.

LAGI 2018 is being 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.