Artsy Energy Hits New York

Last year in the Art & Science section, we featured ideas for beautiful, yet functional, renewable-energy projects designed for Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a contest sponsored by the Land Art Generator Initiative (“Powered By Art,” Spring 2012). This October, LAGI announced the winners of its second design competition: a call for renewable-energy installations for Freshkills Park (formerly Fresh Kills Landfill) on New York’s Staten Island. From hundreds of entrants, top honors went to screens that ripple in the breeze, generating wind power with interwoven piezoelectric fibers, and to a series of mounds that house wind turbines and CO2 scrubbers.

Another top entry was an array of 99 red balloons (above) that double as photovoltaic solar generators. Developed by Nadi Design Studio of Winnipeg, Canada, the balloons float 100 feet in the air and together are capable of generating 14,000 MWh of electricity each year. The installation is also interactive: when a visitor steps on a piezoelectric panel on the boardwalk beneath a balloon, it changes from red to transparent to reveal the solar energy–harvesting system within.

Image courtesy of Nadi Design Studio/LAGI