The civilization of mankind can be described on the basis of the development of energy systems. With the shift from hunters and gatherers to settlers, a first energy system was introduced 10,000 years ago based on solar energy, compressed in crops and trees. This system changed radically some 300 years ago with the start of the fossil era. Both changes caused a major shift in civilization, including the patterns of settlements and building typologies. Fuelled by the fossil era the population densities increased, vast cities emerged and new building typologies were developed. Today we are on the eve of the next major change, the end of the fossil (and nuclear) age and the establishment of a new energy stems based on renewable energies.
The aim of the studio is to analyze, how the introduction of the fossil energy system has changed our built environment and how the end of the fossil era might change the built environment in the future. The area of investigation and scenario generation is the U.S. / Northern America.
The studio will address the questions of future energy landscapes on different scales—from the continent to singular buildings and will engage in the design of buildings, landscapes and infrastructures. The impact of changes in economies, politics, technology and human factors is to be considered and analyzed.
The aim is to develop scenarios, narratives, typologies and generative (not to say parametric) spatial principals. For the design of possible futures, a given contemporary spatial condition will serve as a starting point.