The City as Energy Landscape

Exhibition at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio
14 September – 31 October 2020
Palazzo Canavée

This exhibition promotes the notion of “energy landscape” as a conceptual framework to challenge our current understanding of energy as a cheap and abundant source for architecture. It presents concepts and methods for designing the energy landscapes of the future, taking the greater region of Geneva in Switzerland as its case study. While in the last few decades the discipline of architecture was mainly concerned with the self-sufficiency of individual buildings, the exhibition emphasizes the need for a new urban scale for saving energy, integrating technological systems and natural processes. Such a view relies on the idea of the productive urban environment, in which the built fabric, topography, soil, bodies of water, as well as the urban climate serve as potential energy resources.

Presented as a pictorial archive, energy landscapes appear as “palimpsests” (André Corboz) in which human-built systems and natural forces overlap. The visual documents and the additional mapping of energy infrastructures and local resources in Geneva are tools for representing an often-unseen territory and for designing the structure and dynamics of a specific energy ecology. Contributing to a contemporary environmental theory in architecture, the exhibition highlights aspects of the professorship’s long-term interests in climate and energy in architecture. Building on the professorship’s pedagogical approaches as developed since 2016, the show underlines the ambition to bring theory and practice in a fruitful exchange.

Exhibition by SNSF Professorship for Architecture and Theory, Prof. Dr. Sascha Roesler and Dr. Lorenzo Stieger

Università della Svizzera italiana – Accademia di architettura
Palazzo Canavée, Via Giuseppe Buffi 5, 6850 Mendrisio

Opening hours: 
Monday – Friday  10 – 12 / 13:30 –18h
No entry fee, but please register before under +41 58 6665820 or logistica.me(@)usi.ch

Guided tours:
23.9. & 21.10., 19h
27.10. in the framework of the seminar ‘Architectural Ethnography.’

To participate, please register one week in advance. Email to lorenzofabian.stieger(@)usi.ch

Symposium: 30 October, 10–13h
‘Urban Energy Landscapes and the Question of Density,’ panel hosted by Sascha Roesler in the frame of the symposium ‘More or Less Density,’ organized by the ISUP, with contributions by Dominic Boyer, Kim Förster, Carola Hein, Fanny Lopez, and Milica Topalovic.
Further information: www.arc.usi.ch/en/news/detail/30059