CONTEXT: Panel in the frame of the symposium "More or Less Density", Academy of Architecture, Mendrisio, October 30, 2020
Recent discussions around energy transition and climate adaptation have led to a rethinking of the role of energy systems in densely populated environments. Various ideas have emerged on the non-arbitrary relationship between energy infrastructure and settlement structure, and thus between energy and density. In future, dense settlement structures may enable the production of renewable energy, through solar gain, self-sufficient architecture, micro-grids, district systems, or entire ecosystem services. The concentration of the entire cycle of production, distribution, exchange and consumption of energy within a dense area can save energy through the bundling of infrastructures. Low-density areas, on the other hand, may be more resilient in terms of biodiversity and in response to climate change. We shall address the interrelatedness of architecture, infrastructure and landscape by discussing how the notion of “energy landscape” conceptually integrates technological systems, natural forces and the built fabric (energy infrastructure and energy commons).
Moderator: Sascha Roesler
Contributors: Carola Hein (urban scholar, TU Delft); Dominic Boyer (anthropologist, Rice University); Fanny Lopez (architectural historian, Paris); Milica Topalovic (architect, ETH Zurich)
Respondent: Kim Förster (architectural theorist, University of Manchester)