Power: The Energy Bonanza

Flavien Menu invited as a guest critic at ETH Zurich for Studio Swinnen

The politics and economics of renewable energy are society’s contemporary topicality par excellence; a market driven urgency around which some of the most unabashed politicised lobbying is performed.

However, the technological savvy of wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass energy hold – without exception – 
no fundamental spatial intelligence. These technologies
are commonly applied onto the most efficient territories or structures available. The spatial output is residual and secondary. The juxtaposition of all these individual decisions clutters exponentially the limited space at hand. Moreover policy guidelines related to the spatial application of renewable energy are chiefly defensive, passive and reluctant in their ambition. Behind this political lassitude lies – amongst others – a fundamental shortage of spatial and architectural imagination on how these new technologies can strengthen and steer near-future metropolitan landscapes.