Energy transition: when art and culture help
Art and culture can also help raise awareness and make people more willing to face the transformation taking place. There are countless examples, here are three of them.
One dates back as far as 10 years ago, when the City of Milan and Edison decided to bring Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the opera that inaugurated La Scala’s 2011-2012 season, to the city. The initiatives presented included “Would you like to listen to Mozart? Pedal!” It was a system of bicycle-generators placed in Piazza della Scala that allowed the Milanese to power a special Bikegame to listen to some of the most famous arias from the opera, accompanied by a video installation that made it possible to take a virtual tour of the Milan theater.
Another example is the creation of Strandbeest, i.e. beach animals in Dutch, created by artist Theo Jansen: a mix of art and engineering in the name of ecological design. The poetic videos of his works made with recycled materials moving freely on the beaches thanks to wind and sun energy have racked up millions of views.
Even when the creation of plants for the production of renewable energy is met with resistance from the inhabitants of the areas involved, the use of appropriate aesthetic codes can help. This is the experience proposed by Prototype 2030, an international design collective “that turns climate solutions into irresistible experiences”. The underlying conviction is that solutions to the climate problems we face could become much more attractive – and thus be adopted more quickly – if design thinking was applied from the outset.
With the Windwords project, for example, the collective proposes to reshape wind towers by transforming them into giant letters to create collective landmarks, in the style of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Windswitch, on the other hand, is their smartphone app for managing the community wind sector: the app allows residents to share the positive economic results deriving from wind power. It is a way to engage them and make them more involved.