(Buildings = Energy) + Kids = Creativity

Eleanor Lygo

Energy ran high at the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Family Day on 11.12.11, as kids and their parents explored the Center for Architecture’s “Buildings = Energy” exhibition. They were excited to discover new technologies for trimming energy demand, such as elevators that recapture energy as they brake, and heating and cooling systems that tap into the earth’s steady temperature. Everyone loved the Solar Pod house designed by City College Architecture students and faculty to occupy empty rooftops in the city and create net-zero housing (and an entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon). They were also impressed by the hi-tech gadgets in the exhibition’s Energy Lab, including the glowing Energy Orb, which changes color to indicate periods of peak energy demand and pricing to help consumers monitor and plan their energy use.

Creative juices really got flowing during the workshop portion of the program when families were challenged to take ideas from the exhibition and design their own energy-efficient buildings. These were as varied as the participants. Young designers proudly presented their buildings to the group and came away with new ideas of their own.