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Solar   Energy   Field

      My design inspiration for this alternative energy producing sculpture in the desert, comes from a conceptual symbolic representation of the micro energetic interaction between photons of sunlight, and the release of electrons within photovoltaic cells, which in turn form electricity. This energetic interaction is symbolically represented as a large, pragmatic, scalable, abstract, three dimensional, stimulating and challenging form, capable of capturing energy from the sun, and converting it into electricity for the local community.

The basic structure would be constructed from a series of prefabricated panels, each fitted with a steel support frame, and covered with a colored concrete composite skin. These panels can be added or subtracted in order to scale the structure up or down and/or to change the shape at any time.

Minimal negative environmental impact is anticipated with this design because of the small amount of structure actually touching the ground. Also a minimal amount of foundation should be required with most of the land under the structure left open for human and animal passage.

An appropriate number of the south-facing panels would be covered with shadow tolerant, non-glass, high temperature performance photovoltaic film. All of these panels are placed high enough on the structure so the visitors cannot reach them. In full sunlight with full exposure, the solar panels could generate approximately ten thousand watts of electrical energy for the local grid. I chose to harness energy from the sun with my structure since the sun is the most abundant form of alternative energy in the desert, and is certainly symbolic of the environment in which the Solar Energy Field would be placed.

I think that those who visit the structure would see it as an amazing apparition or mirage in the desert that would soon become a world-known tourist destination. In addition, it would function as an oasis sheltering the visitors from the hot sun. Some of the lower panels of the structure fold out in different ways in order to provide places to sit or lie. There is also a stairs (leading to a viewing platform) built in under the structure so people can actually climb up into the Solar Energy Field for a better view of it and the surrounding landscape.

Two of the panels that form the structure fold out in different direction along the ground and become pathways leading visitors to and from the Solar Energy Field with access off of a main highway.

        My hope is to place structures like this throughout the world as architectural/art attractions capable of generating revenue through tourism, as well as through the energy they produce from the environment in which they are built.

A Sculpture for the Park

The Big Black Box Explosion

The Solar Winds Desert

Power Plant

      This is a design proposal for a large public gathering place to be located in a public park, in a hot dry climate. The structure was created to function as an architectural art attraction that also collects energy from the wind and from the sun, and distributes the energy in the form of electricity into the local power grid. The solar energy is gathered from flexible solar cells that are mounted onto the twenty four curved leaves of the symbolic plant. The wind energy is gathered from a large vertical axis wind turbine especially designed to symbolically refer to the flower of the plant. There is a large circular bench for visitors built in around the symbolic stem. The bench and much of the space under the symbolic leaves of the Solar Winds Desert Power Plant, are shaded throughout the day giving the visitors some relief from the hot desert sun.

        The design of the Solar Winds Desert Power Plant like many of my other projects, gets its inspiration from nature, through a process of symbolically referring to the ways in which the natural world looks, and the ways in which it functions.

Circular Formations

(a series of functional art sculptures)

Circular Formations are a series of three functional art sculptures designed to be placed into a public venue such as a park and/or sculpture garden. Each one of the structures is made of painted steel and wood. All of them are primarily formed from the assemblage of eight-foot diameter circular rings. Some of the rings have been cut into portions of a circle, and others are assembled into the formations as full circles. In each case, places where people can sit are built into the sculptures. These structures were created very directly with no pre-planning about how to organize the final form. Three-dimensional models were made first that allowed for a free form approach to their final construction. I developed these sculptures as three-dimensional sketches that do not suggest a finality in their design, but rather illuminate the potential of endless possibilities.

The Sun Altered Cube

The painted steel Sun Altered Cube is a large solar powered kinetic art installation designed to be placed into a public park. An array of solar cells is mounted on the top of the cube. These solar cells power two electric motors that are connected to two corners of the cube. The corners have been separated from the rest of the cube so they can be slowly rotated in and out of phase, by the solar powered electric motors. The speed of the rotating corners varies in relationship to the intensity of the sun. On a sunny day, the corners can rotate up to one revolution per minute. The direction of the rotating corners also randomly changes from time to time. The excess solar generated electricity is sent into the local power grid.

The cube has been painted with a strong black and white graphic in order to emphasize the ways in which it continually changes. After the corners begin to rotate, over time they will move in and out of phase with each other. This decreases the likelihood of the cubes shape and graphic realigning into its original symmetrical state.

The Sun Altered Cube is part of a series of structures I have designed, which explore ways in which the built environment can interact in unexpected ways, with the natural environment. Many of these structures reject the notion of a static object, and replace it with a randomly changing energetic one.

The House As A Metaphor

(A series of public art proposals)

This series of sculptures by Michael Jantzen plays with the iconic house shape in a variety of abstracted contexts, juxtaposing the house with other recognizable symbols. Most of the pieces are monochrome, and use a single material for both the house and the additions to it, which range from stilts, wheels and railroad tracks to clouds and crosses. Minimal and conceptual, these sculptures are meant to interrogate the meaning of the house symbol by exploring how simple interventions affect its interpretation. These ten sculptures are presented as proposals for large public art installations.