Thursday, October 08, 2009

On the Aesthetics of Wind Farms

Al lot is being said these days about finding alternate sources of energy so that we can redeem ourselves from our addiction to fossil fuel and begin the process of reversing global climate change. The benefits to our environment and the future of our children is clear. The part that makes it so difficult, is that it is either cost prohibitive for most (putting solar panels on your roof still a very expensive proposition), environmentally unpopular (nuclear is clean and efficient, but what about all that waste and the inherent risk?) or rather unsightly as in the case of wind power.

Like solar, wind power if produced in any kind of distributable scale, involves a massively expensive investment up front, but also like Solar, the power generated thereafter by the wind is practically free. A major bone of contention from the little guy is, before we can agree that this is a viable source of energy, we need to figure out where to put all of those wind farms. Anyone who has seen the wind farms south of Owen Sound ON, or travelled through Europe, the North Eastern United States or parts of California knows that these wind farms almost always end up in massive clusters that are almost always in or very near somebody's back yard. Depending on which side of the fence you are on, this can be a giant boon for the environment or a giant pain in the ass for those affected by unsightly views.

While I personally think that the technology is cool, and they are pretty sleek examples of modern design and engineering and impressive pieces of technology, not everybody agrees that they are artful engineering at its finest, or beautiful to look at, especially if they are positioned in our own back yards.

What is beauty and how does it relate to ecology? A look at contrasting aesthetic intuitions about wind farms reveals a paradigm shift in how we understand beauty. Our sense of the nature of beauty cannot be separated from our sense of the beauty of nature. If this is of interest to you, then you might want to read an article in the design observer, written by Justin Good, Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston University...

Read on...

If you are a fan of graphic design, you might be interested in the work we do at FRANK Ideas and Execution.


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