A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier is a project called 'The Pipe' - plain in name, extra-ordinary in sight.
LAGI 2016, founded in 2008, invited bold, creative scientists, engineers, designers and others from all around the world to submit ideas for large-scale and site-specific public art installations that generate carbon-neutral electricity and/or drinking water for the City of Santa Monica, California. Submissions were to reflect a seamless blend of mesmerizing public art and energy generation device in order to show that technological solutions do not necesarily result in stone-cold machinery that spoils beautiful landscape. Participants were given the opportunity to utilize wave and tidal energies as well as wind, solar, and other technologies.
Rob Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, co-founders of the Land Art Generator Initiative, write on the competition website that LAGI 2016 "comes to Southern California at an important time. The sustainable infrastructure that is required to meet California's development goals and growing population will have a profound influence on the landscape. The Paris Climate Accord from COP 21 has united the world around a goal of 1.5–2° C, which will require a massive investment in clean energy infrastructure."
'The Pipe' is a floating electromagnetic desalination device to provide clean drinking water off the coast of Santa Monica, California. It draws energy from the sun. According to Inhabitat that reported about the Pipe first, the tube with a surface resembling a disco ball, "could generate 10,000 MWh of electricity annually, powering an electromagnetic filtration system capable of pumping out 1.5 billion gallons (4.5 billion liters) of clean drinking water for the city over the same period."
"What results are two products: pure drinkable water that is directed into the city's primary water piping grid, and clear water with 12 per cent salinity," explains the brief. "The drinking water is piped to shore, while the salt water... is redirected back to the ocean through a smart release system, mitigating most of the usual problems associated with returning brine water to the sea."
Other contestants include a design by Henry Moll and Mary Carroll-Coelho called 'Wake Up' - a wave energy converter, designed to look like gigantic swans, an air-balloon by Matt Kuser that can be used for sightseeing as well as harnessing solar energy, and a solar power-generating, floating 'Clear Orb' from a Korean team.
The competition winners will be announced on October 6, 2016 at Greenbuild 2016. The first place winning submission will be awarded $15,000.