Entering the Second Year with more Energy

March 8, 2010

Issue introduction by Iker Gil, editor in chief of MAS Context.


Mas issue energy cover opening

© Mitch Epstein.

It seems quite unbelievable that a year has transpired since we published the first issue of MAS Context, MORE. A year in which we enjoyed exploring EVENTS, WORK and LIVING, and connected each time with more and more people. After the publication of the special issue University Works, over 50,000 people like you have downloaded the journal and 400,000 have visited the website.

When we imagined the starting point for our second year, we landed on the perfect topic: ENERGY, something this project wouldn’t exist without. So we assembled the people, projects and ideas that connect, in one way or another, to the concept of ENERGY.

Photographer Mitch Epstein, whose fantastic book American Power was recently published by Steidl, talked to us about the stories behind his photographic series, the inseparable relationship of Energy and Power and how he is bringing his work into the public realm.

Working on the field of environmental design is Sean Lally, whose office WEATHERS has been busy working from urban planning projects to installations. Julia Sedlock interviews him to learn more about his ideas on environment, the challenges of his approach to this visual period, and the role of the architect in these projects.

Photographers Chris Martin and Cesar Russ bring us those unforgettable moments during concerts when the energy of performers and audience align.

If you don’t believe in the importance of school projects, here’s proof to the contrary. Started at the University of Michigan by Elizabeth Redmond, POWERleap is able to harnesses applied stress in everyday life to generate energy. We talked to her to hear about the next steps for her current prototypes.

Landscape architect Marcel Wilson brings us the singular case of Lanai Island in Hawaii. Former capital of the world of pineapples, its current owners are engaged in the process of modifying the ecology of the island by creating new resources in the form of landscapes, water, and energy to support a new economic model for its growth.

We looked at specific projects that expand the concept of ENERGY. Yes, they produce energy from renewable sources but more importantly, they become anchors that generate human energy.

The Ecoboulevard in Vallecas, Madrid, by Ecosistema Urbano, addresses the poor characteristics typical of suburban developments generating activity and providing a bioclimatic adaptation of an outdoor space.

Public Farm 1, the winning entry of the 2008 Young Architects Program (YAP) by WORK Architecture Company, took over the courtyards of the PS1 in Queens, programming activities for people, 6 mature chickens and a dozen peeping chicks.

The photovoltaic canopy in Barcelona, by José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elias Torres became the massive centerpiece of the public space created for the Forum 2004.

Realities: United uses their solar powered stalks of their project PowerPlant to signify the transformation of former industrial area into an emerging high-end business area.

Finally, thanks to the fantastic films included in the Prelinger Archives, we discovered a lot about the type of energy and ideals that the United States had during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. They are invaluable documents that show the economic and political situation of that period, the social values, and the enormous pride for the achievements.

Enjoy our ENERGY issue.