Seeking to explore power as crucial factor in the design of the built environment, we will look at energy systems and related objects, from sites of generation to spaces of consumption, from distribution networks to control rooms.

Tutors: Filip Geerts and Sanne van den Breemer
Director of Studies: Salomon Frausto

Contributors: Santiago Ardila, Juan Benavides, Daniella Camarena, Stef Dingen, Marco Fusco, Jack Garay Arauzo, Theodora Gelali, Shaiwanti Gupta, Hao Hsu, Marianthi Papangelopoulou, Felipe Quintero, Gent Shehu, Siyuan Wang


Concrete object, Hydro Power, Generation, Object, Automation, Infrastructure, Illustration

The “pushing the red button” gesture has a performative meaning, as it causes the irremediability of its consequences. The performance initially takes place in the control room, where from a switchboard panel the operator manages parameter, such as the reactive power, active power, synchronism, current and tension, related to the dam performances . Charged with a god-like power, he controls the river water flow. His finger moves thousands of liters of water. Once the button is clicked, the dam starts discharging water, activating a process, or better, a chain of processes that underlines the performative irreversibility of this act, from which there is “no-coming-back point”. It is an act that moves things from a preexisting condition to a new one, with huge efforts, sometimes also sacrifices, and big expectations. A Noachian gesture (related to the patriarch Noah) as it faces the gargantuan dimensions of a dam, and represents the huge effort to block a river or a lake, the human whim to tame nature. The power of humans to generate power!
    Übermenschlich: It is a concept, a philosophical allegory, conceived by Friedrich Nietzsche. It literally means “super-human”, beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity. For Gabriele D’Annunzio, the concepts acquires another value, as it represents the human desire of being able to control nature and passions that come from it.