Thursday, November 3, 1pm–7pm
Relix Variety Theatre
Knoxville, TN

THE SECOND INSTALLMENT of Regional Globalism in the Tennessee Valley convenes internationally recognized design research practices RVTR+POST, The Open Workshop, and Smout Allen to discuss their work on the region. Using design as a speculative medium, their work explores key questions and provocations for the Tennessee Valley as a region with global implications.
Kathy Velikov and Geoffrey Thün
Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller
Biomass Pasts Lignin Futures
This project centers biomass as a transformational agent in shaping the Tennessee Valley—both historically within the context of the TVA/GSMNP/ORNL triad, and currently in relation to emerging paradigm shifts that suggest new and newly productive territorial agents. The project assembles around:
• decarbonization as national project tied to national security and global economy, posing new demands on territorial design thinking
• advances in timber industry and molecular engineering toward new bio-based products leveraging molecular qualities of sustainable and renewable crops
• advances in technologies capable of detecting subperceptual biomass characteristics, potentials, and qualities, from the micro to the macro scale, enabling a rapid transition to agroforestry intercropping for biodiverse ecosystem design
• cooperative infrastructural urbanization demonstrating new forms of low carbon production and equitable co-existence
Parallel narratives re-read the history of the Tennessee Valley through biomass transformation as a prime actor in its territorial design and speculate on an emerging lignin industry to reshape its future.
Smout Allen
Mark Smout and Laura Allen
Super-Rural-Mega-Listic: The Riverine Model Farm
This speculative design project focuses stories of ‘agresearch’, water stress and renewable energy of the TVA. The proposal investigates and proposes sites of production, research and resource management via blends of agricultural, domestic and infrastructural installations and architectures.
The Riverine Model Farm works with the changing resource demands (energy and water), and the water stress on the TVA system caused by projected increased agricultural, industrial and domestic use. Water stress is exacerbated by increased temperatures and altered precipitation patterns which could lead to more drought, flooding, and extreme weather events attributable to climate change. It also responds to the TVA transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy systems, particularly solar power.
Domestic, recreational and infrastructural architecture is integrated with environments that demonstrate the flows, checks and balances of the TVA’s ‘fluid’ landscape. The reservoirs, rivers and riparian landscapes incorporate and interlace productive environments and domestic spaces. Model farms, a new generation of Experimentation Stations ‘model’ physical and scientific futures.​​​​​​​
The Open Workshop
Neeraj Bhatia, Clare Hacko, Duy Nguyen
This Land is Your Land
As the hydroelectric energy provided by the TVA continues to wane in significance in feeding the growing needs of Tennessee, perhaps the more lasting legacy of this WPA project was the establishment of energy cooperatives through the Rural Electrification Act. Today in the United States energy cooperatives provide power to over 42 million people, 92 percent of which live in counties with persistent poverty. Energy cooperatives, and cooperatives more generally, have been a vehicle to offer its members more agency, stake, and solidarity of stewardship in the access and control of resources. This Land is Your Land examines the synergies that are formed by a multi-resource cooperative to address issues of data equity, housing access, energy paradigm shifts, and food insecurity.

This symposium is made possible in part by
the financial support of the Tennessee Architecture Foundation.

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