Date of Award
Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Humans are energy hogs, intelligent purveyors of displaced electrical waves construed from ancient carbon compounds. Our built environment has let us forget this. Our collective ambivalence towards the subject has grown with the loss of these public assets to private companies under a socially engineered lack of public interest in energy production. There was once a time energy infrastructures were revered and upheld as public spaces, giant testaments to the greatness of society harnessing the natural world, gold stars congratulating the intelligence of humankind. Great designers, political leaders and visionaries created works of art, sculpture, landscape architecture which functioned for the greater good. Today, these works have been submerged, covered, cheapened and ill-maintained, forgotten by a society who assumes the complacent position of “consumer”. We are not consumers, and it is not a product. We are a system. This thesis aims to realign our energy needs back into public consciousness to recreate stewardship around our crumbling energy infrastructure and bring agency to those wishing to know where their energy comes from.
Starting with secondary research on human energy consumption, it’s recent surge and the technologies which sustain it, the study will narrow its cartographic pursuits to the region of New England, where many individual companies hold rights to an intricate energy system which blurs political boundaries. In mapping this system, we will create a network wherein the public can occupy space within their energy infrastructures. In evaluating this network, the focus will downshift into a site specific, primary investigation of these ideals in an urban environment, concluding in a design exercise in landscape urbanism which focuses not on the adaptive reuse of infrastructures past, but the seamless political integration of the public realm and existing essential infrastructures which function today.
Wakefield, Kelsey, "Grid talk : giving a voice to energy infrastructures" (2017). Masters Theses. 98.
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