Do you have enough energy today? This question opens The Energy Show – Sun, Solar and Human Power from 3 September 2022 through 5 March 2023 at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The exhibition by curator and designer Matylda Krzykowski revolves around the sun and its design possibilities. It reflects on visitors’ personal energy levels, features dozens of examples of innovative solar ideas, and poses the key question: what would the world look like if it were solar powered?
Exhibition text by Matylda Krzykowski:
Today, every country in the world is having an active conversation about energy. Our appetite for energy is insatiable. And it will only increase, not least because our planet’s population continues to grow.
Since ancient times, the sun has played an important role in how human beings found their place on the planet. It has played an essential part in our utopian imaginations as the ultimate source of energy. Thanks to the sun, we see planets and imagine life in the universe. The sunlight that hits the Earth in a single hour provides more energy than the entire world consumes in one year. The sun promises to give us all the energy we need, in a clean and green way. Yet while the sun is a mostly free energy source, most people do not know how to generate energy with it. New forms of generating energy with solar design hardly contribute anything to the global energy statistics yet, although there is a growing number of ideas out there.
In societies, ideas are implemented through human energy. So what can we as individuals, communities, and companies do to actively integrate the sun? How can solar ideas push us to advocate for policy change? Will you become a solar citizen? The idea of becoming solar is not just about substituting one energy source for another for climate well-being. It is about reconsidering who we are and what kind of energy we need.
The promise of a new form of energy is that we can do things differently. People doing things is human power.
With: Agnieszka Polska, Alice Wong in collaboration with Crys Cool, Aliki van der Kruijs, Bert Schoeren, Cream on Chrome, Imre Szeman, Johannes Bruder & Karolina Sobecka, Mirka Laura Severa, Octave Perrault (Zeroth), Su Tomesen, Takram
And: Alex Nathanson, Tega Brain & Benedetta Piantella, Amor Muñoz, Ann-Kristin Müller, Arvind Gupta, Ayesha Vemuri, Beatrice Colomina & Mark Wigley, Benjamin Rodrigues de Miranda, Boudewijn Buitenhek, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Brian Gulassa, Brian Norton, California College of the Arts, Camila Chebez, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Cara Daggett, Carvey Ehren Maigue, Chris Goodall, Climate Heroes (Luke Duggleby), Cymene Howe, Daisuke Hirabayashi, Daniela & Tonatiuh, Darin Barney, ENSCI, EPFL+ECAL Lab, Erik Groen, ETH Zurich, Eva van Ooijen, Filip Schlembach, Fynn Roovers, Gemeente Dijk en Waard, Gerrit Jan van der Kolm, GigaWatt, Guillian Graves, Hansruedi Schild, Henry Glogau, Hessel Haalewijn, Human Power Plant, Bakkerij De Eenvoud & de Academie voor Beeldvorming, Illac Diaz, Imre Szeman, Inside Outside & TextielMuseum, Irina Boersma, James Clear, Jan van Eyck Academie, Jehane Noujaim, Jessenvolleweider, John Perlin, Jonathan Hielkema, Jörg Boner, Jos Tobé, Karim Amer, Khaled Bokaee, Kiki & Joost, Lightyear, Lina Tomesen Hartanto, Little Sun (Olafur Eliasson & Frederik Ottesen), Manuel Doernte, Marjan van Aubel, Markus Kayser, Martin Andersen, Martina Muzi, Melle Smets & Kris de Decker, Mette Heide, Michael Jantzen, Michigan State University Team, Moisés Hernández, Mona Eldaief, Nan Su, NASA, Neel Tamhane, Oxana epik Henneman, PIN-UP, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Rosa van Walbeek, Selco Foundation, Ser-Gün Solar Energy, Shalanda Baker, Sherwin Banfield, Smart Flower Energy Technology GmbH, Solar Innovation Center Dubai, Solar Mamas, Solar Sound System, Solarpunk Lab, Space 10, Stefan Lang, Stephen Yang, Studio Ossidiana, Studio Pauline van Dongen, Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Swine, SunGlacier, The Museum of Solar Energy, Tim Ertl, VANTOT, Ville Kokkonen, We Care Solar, Wim Sinke, Yuval Reuven, Ziyao Cheng
1) The New Sun by Agnieszka Polska
2-4) Exhibition View
5) Commission: On Solarity by Imre Szeman, designed by Noviki
6) Solar Lifestyle Collection, 5 devices from Museum of Solar Energy
7) Curtain by Aliki van der Kruijs, Sun Visual by Noviki with voice of Matylda Krzykowski, Solar Views by Mirka Laura Severa
8) Quote from Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto (1985)
9) The Energy Quest board game (1977)
10) Exhibition View Detail
11) Perpetual Climate Architecture by Octave Perrault of Zeroth
12) Exhibition View
13) Close to Home Research Project by Takram
14) Solar Citizen Video by Su Tomesen, Script by Matylda Krzykowski
15) We Care Solar, Suitcase for maternal care
16) The Solar Energy Kioks, first commission for The Energy Show, designed by Cream on Chrome
17) Solar Futures book launch by Marjan van Aubel, in conversation with Matylda Krzykowski