Screening / Ener-geyser
- Abstract: Ener-geyser is an algorithmic wellspring that visualises energy usage in real-time for a local energy commons. The site-specific installation is a research tool to learn more about how members of resource communities share, view and interpret their data – and in turn make choices that affect the community as a whole.
The installation was created as a design probe for the research project Design Thinking for the Circular Economy, and explores how Situated Design methods can contribute to articulating value transparency in the design of local platforms for the circular economy.
The Ener-geyser was originally realised in the neighbourhood Schoonschip (Amsterdam), the most sustainable floating community in Europe; and the only one utilising a blockchain driven local smart-grid to distribute self-produced energy.
The geyser is designed to assist community members in making decisions about when it is optimal to turn on/off appliances, in order to achieve their agreed shared sustainability goals. By looking out the window, residents can observe the current (energy) situation.
When the fountain sprays high, there is an abundance of energy, so it is optimal to turn on appliances. A medium to low spray indicates caution, as demand is headed toward a peak. When the fountain is less than a meter high, there is a peak – thus it is not optimal to use energy.
The fountain examines how members of the resource-community make choices about when to tap from the shared system, and reveals aligned tensions like the individual vs collective good, and privacy vs transparency.
Ener-geyser experiments with new ways of interpreting complex data – that extend beyond traditional dashboard interfaces. The fountain’s main purpose is to catalyse discussion. These kinds of discussions form the basis for making complex decisions, that can define how emerging energy-resource communities define and execute their common goals.
- Biography: Tara Karpinski is a designer and researcher. Her projects are characterised by site-specific research and site-specific making, and realised in cooperation with diverse communities.
Tara is one of the founders of design-collective Pink Pony Express – pioneers in research through making. The collective works at the intersection of research, design and society. Their projects are realised on locations where there is palpable friction between citizens and government; where their work uses public space to sets-out other perspectives on complex social questions.
Parallel on her design practice, Tara regularly lectures at universities and art academies, and has worked as an embedded researcher-designer for institutions including the Universiteit van Amsterdam and Leuphana University. She is currently a researcher at the Centre of Expertise for Art, Design and Technology (Breda) for the group Situated Art & Design. She teaches research through design at the University of Applied Sciences in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL.
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