In the June issue of the Architectenkrant, the editors of AN highlighted four exhibitions currently on display that offer promising and particularly striking food for thought for museum visitors in the summer. One, a traveling exhibition on its last stop, explores the historical role of political and social activism within the design community while reflecting on the difficult road ahead; another highlights the unique ingenuity (and urgency) of regenerative design; the third assesses the intensive CO2 load on the built environment and proposes smart solutions so that cities can say goodbye to fossil fuels; and the second explores how California is leading the way in extracting energy from the earth with minimal environmental impact.
Learn more about each exhibit below and check out other approved exhibits here that can now be seen from coast to coast.
And now?! Advocacy, activism, and alliances in American architecture since 1968
Ninety-sixty-eight was a pivotal year for America, but at the AIA convention in June, civil rights leader Whitney Young Jr.accused the architects of a “thunderous silence” as they faced the deep turmoil of the time. Over the next 54 years, the review was regularly repeated. And now?! challenges this story with drastic results, because it forcefully shows how architects supported the advancement of civil rights, feminist and LGBTQ+ causes. Curator: Lori A. Brown, Andrea J. Merrett, Sarah Rafson and Roberta Washington and realized in collaboration with ArchiteXX, a non-profit organization that promotes gender equality in architecture, this installation in Boston-the 12th to date of the fair-includes a section with local actors of change such as Gregory Minott, co-founder and CEO of DREAM Collaborative. Colorful supergraphs and interactive features invite visitors to participate in the ongoing work of building an inclusive profession. Jack Murphy.
That a building is a static and silly object is only superficially true. The steel and glass of a curtain wall cannot be deliberately different from each other, nor can they take revenge on the architect who facilitated their union. But viewed in another way, these compositions of materials are temporary amalgams in a long energy chain of alternating composition and decomposition. In recent years, designers working in an ecological spirit have imagined concepts that make it possible to better understand the impact of their creations on their environment and further. Organized by Laura Flsche and Veronica Klucik, Full Circle presents systems (e.g. Cradle2Cradle, Living Building) that integrate a “regenerative” approach to design. This argument is supported by matter studies, including a large waste-to-energy power plant designed in Copenhagen and, closer to home, Lord Aeck Sargent’s Kendeda building for innovative sustainable design at Georgia Tech. Samuel Medina
Compared to Full Circle in Atlanta, Energy Revolution, the largest exhibition in the history of the ACC, weighs heavily on the exhibition; the design of the exhibition, by Farr Associates, is characterized by imposing walls of texts (in English and Spanish) and infographics predicting the dark world in matter the construction industry does not manage to recover in time. But where the arc threatens to be too didactic, life-size models of buildings and other attractions offer tangible moments of experience. In an inspired gesture, the show, staged in the permanent skyscraper of the CAC, partially uses the scaled skyscrapers that dot the gallery floor: infrared analysis, projected on a model of 875 North Michigan Avenue (aka the John Hancock Center), reveals how modernist office plates-so emblematic of Chicagoan modernity-are energy sails. But lest this leave visitors on a hopeless note, the salon offers many ways to solve the problem. SM
Geothermal energy accounts for less than 0.5% of national energy production, but 70% of this activity occurs in California. (Next is Nevada, which accounts for 25%. Venting the Earth explores a handful of California sites to create a portrait of the structures and infrastructure of the geothermal industry. At the Geysers geothermal field in the north of the state, a drop in production required two pipelines, which wind through the hilly landscape, to fill groundwater to be heated with wastewater from neighboring communities. Around the Salton Sea, considered the largest national source of lithium, companies are exploring ways to extract it from groundwater used for geothermal production. The installation continues the CLUIÂ€ ™ s mission, pursued since 1994, of disseminating knowledge in American countries. It works in the belief that the “artificial landscape is a cultural inscription that can be read to better understand who we are and what we do.”JM