This year the winners of the Land Art Generator initiative proposed to Abu Dhabi that beautiful public artworks generate power, this time this temperature is about 105 degrees high in Abu Dhabi. This is why a lot of life, with its artificially chilled air, in the capital of the United Arab Emirates revolves around indoor shopping malls. Picture, however, a light dung cooling your eyes, walking through an external park under a shade canopy. As day goes on, you feel as if you are walking under the Milky Way, because of the light passing the triangular door opening.

Starlit Stratus

This project is known as Starlit Stratus, designed by New York Architect Sunggi Park and his Architecture firm. He won a competition funded by the Land Art Generator Initiative to highlight the beauty of renewable energy designs. LAGI holds an international competition for energy-generating, public art since 2010. It is a competition coordinated by the Land Art Generator Initiative. Past events took place in cities as far away as Helsinki, Santa Monica and Melbourne.

The competition was held this year in Masdar City, a marvel in the Abu Dhabi, which was originally intended to be the first “zero-carbon city” in the world. Although the Masdar City target has not yet been accomplished–its greenhouse-gas emissions have remained largely empty and far greater than originally planned–the desert offered an exciting, daunting backdrop for the competition.

“Throughout the year LAGI founders Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry have been told by the Latin climate that there are opportunities to generate solar power and incorporate pasive cooling techniques to ensure a convenient environment.”


The entry in Park was inspired by tessellations about origami. This consists of triangular solar panels, which generate energy during the day and cloth triangles that can be deployed in the evening. It is set on columns to allow adjustments in height so that it can capture the shadow as the sun passes through the sky. The excess energy collected by solar panels is used to collect moisture from the air that can be stored as potable water or used as a cooling nebula.

“The judges of this project were inspired by their pragmatic approach to optimizing the solar surface area in a way that transforms public space dramatically and dynamically,” says Monoian and Ferry.

First, Park learned kindergarten origami. “I liked the idea of a thin paper transforming into any geometry,” he says. The LAGI competition was inspired by[ the] origami I learned when I was a kid.[ Park and his team would receive a $40,000 cash prize for their victory.

“I never thought I will win this contest,” says Park. “I’m thankful and honorable.”

Sun Flower

The winner was Ricardo Solar Lezama, Viktoriya Kovaleva and Armando Solar from San Jose, California. The winner was Sun Flower. This is a huge abstract floral sculpture with “petals,” solar panels that open daily to gather energy and shade. At sunset the petals close gently and generate more energy with their weight. This energy lights up sculpture like a giant lantern throughout the night.

Certain ventures include a giant solar panel, a solar panel maze and a rainbow-colored canopy for a bright shade of urban streets design. One project uses Vantablack-painted house-size spheres (a material which absorbs 99.96% visible light) to absorb sunlight. As night falls, the captured solar power is used to blow up an even larger white area surrounding an exhibition or community venue. Many of the architectural designs were influenced by Emirates culture, one including calligraphy and another playing with the concept of the desert oasis and one featuring large “falcon eggs” made of solar panels.