arch-peace news and articles


ENERGY OVERLAYS Civic Art for a Circular Economy

In 2018, the directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) invited Beatriz Maturana Cossio as the Founder of Architects for Peace and academic of University of Chile, to be a member of the judging panel for the competition for an urban intervention in the highly controversial St. Kilda triangle in Melbourne, Australia. The competition was a call for feasible proposals for an urban intervention based on a cross disciplinary response to this unique public space, based in landscape and urban design and the physical, social and economic aspects of sustainability. A perfect fit for the principles of Architects for Peace. LAGI occurs in a different city each yearThe following article, published with the permission of its authors, presents LAGI’s contribution to the built environment through ecological civic art that produces renewable energy.

Civic Art for a Circular Economy

Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian
Founding Directors,
Land Art Generator Initiative

“The next culture will be a culture of ‘stewardship,’ the energy driving it will be renewable, and the art it produces will be quite different from the art favored by production and consumption cultures.” — Margaret Atwood on the writing of Barry Lord1

“All life is a struggle for free energy.” — Leslie White2

More than a decade after the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth there remains a vocal segment of the public who are unmoved by images showing rising sea levels and global heat map projections. Talk of mass extinction events and droughts still does not seem to motivate many of us to take civic action to protect the climate. In some cases it can have the exact opposite effect, either entrenching denial or causing political paralysis in the face of the problem’s enormity. The scope of climate change leaves many feeling un-empowered as individuals to make a difference.

It pains us to hear such acquiescence on display, like the time we casually remarked about the unusual weather we were experiencing during the week of one of our LAGI workshops. A 14-year old girl responded in earnest, “I heard the world is ending because of the climate.”
What if instead we could change the message of fear and disaster into one of hope and optimism—an inspirational message about the greatness of a post-carbon future? What if rather than show disaster images to run away from, we could instead design a future that people desire to run towards? What if we changed the conversation about gloom and doom to one of beauty and cultural transformation? While science communication has enlightened the world and brought us to where we are today in the climate debate, it is the humanities and the arts that make us unique and that remind us of what is worth saving for tomorrow.
Culture and energy are two sides of the same coin, but as a consequence of this geometry they rarely catch a glimpse of one another. We know that fuel and electricity keep the lights bright upon our stages, the welding torches lit, and our audio visual equipment humming. It is energy that makes it possible to turn four billion trees every year into magazines, journals, paper, and books.3 Culture can be thought of as a reflection of a society’s ability to orchestrate the use of energy beyond that required for the most basic human survival.
La Monarca. This Land Art Generator Solar Mural artwork for San Antonio is a functioning solar array with a capacity of 1 kW. The graphic was designed by San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz with creative direction by Penelope Boyer. Photographed at the San Antonio Zoo by Penelope Boyer


Materiales amigables con el medioambiente

Texto escrito por Rita Núñez. Publicado en Especial Soluciones Constructivas, Medios Regionales El Mercurio. Publicación en Architects for Peace cuenta con la autorización de sus autores.

Las características de los productos utilizados son importantes al momento de construir un edificio sustentable, por ello es importante la información transparente en torno a sus componentes, materias primas y procesos de extracción, manufactura y transporte.

Fuente: Soluciones Constructivas, Medios Regionales El Mercurio.
Cada vez más, es posible ver un interés mayor por incluir materiales con alguna característica de sustentabilidad. La transparencia en sus contenidos y materias primas, o bien, las características de su proceso de extracción y fabricación, tanto en el ámbito ambiental como social, son aspectos a los que se les está dando más importancia.

“Las características de los materiales son muy importantes al momento de querer hacer un edificio sustentable. Por ejemplo, su huella de carbono, medida desde el proceso de extracción de materias primas, su elaboración y su transporte a la obra, pesa tanto como el consumo energético en la operación del edificio”, comenta Gabriela Sabadini, ingeniera de Certificación Edificio Sustentable (CES). Asimismo, el especificar materiales como pinturas o alfombras con bajas emisiones mejora la calidad ambiental interior de un espacio, lo que se traduce en el bienestar de sus ocupantes.


Welcome to the 2019 steering committee and best wishes for 2018!


This year's steering committee was made up of:

President: Nicole Mechkaroff
Vice-President: Anne Claire Deville
Secretary: Lorenza Lazzati
Treasurer: Pauline Ng
Public Officer: Lara Brown
General Member: Yang Bai
General Member: Tayyab Ahmad
General Member: Farah Rozhan
General Member: Stephen Herbst*
General Member: Fernando Estrada*


Update on new Architects for Peace website

The design for a new Architects for Peace website is underway! 

In 2017 we ran a fundraising campaign for a new Architects for Peace website which is in a preliminary design stage. We are currently prototyping possible design options for an intuitive and user-friendly website platform for all A4P members. The new website aims to be a one-stop place to cover the latest A4P news, events & information.

Tony Luo has developed a sample "home page" which is being reviewed by the team. We will provide updates in the new year on the design progress and a launch date for 2019.


Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities congress - Day 2 - November 2nd 2018

Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities congress - Day 2 - November 2nd 2018

We were pleased to present in Newcastle last week and hear from esteemed speakers as part of the Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities international congress, which was jointly convened by the New Urban Agenda (NUA) Standing Conference and EAROPH as its 26th World Congress. It was an enjoyable and informative event.

Pictured here (from left to right): Nicole Mechkaroff, Janet Stanley, Mia Davidson, Kris Hartley, Claire Edwards, Joyati Das, Lorenza Lazzatti.