Rural Transect 2050, Design Studio 2, Prof. Gunnar Hartmann (10 CFU)

While existing fossil-based energy systems rely on the logic of centrality, tomorrow’s networks will increasingly decentralize by drawing their renewable energy from the regional area.
If one expands upon Alvin Toffler’s 1980 pro- sumer vision—a producing consumer imbedded in a highly saturated market place—in light of the looming energy turnaround, the emergence of such pro- sumer (a representative of the second generation of environmentalists) seems indispensable.

When producers and consumers converge, the proximity between the places of production, consumption, and storage needs to be rethought.
By trading and exchanging various forms and amounts of energy, the prosumer thinks lean by revaluating any form of waste (one’s output) as tradable commodity (someone’s input).
Multi-sector integrated energy systems (so-called cells) of various prosumers start to emerge. These self-regulating cells, like natural systems, produce heterotopic networks of dependencies.
Within this field of self-organization, the prosumer represents one but perhaps the most assessa- ble unit of tomorrow’s energy landscape (so-called energy organism).

Throughout the semester our studio discussions and collective research will speculate upon the Prosumer Culture, outlining various modes of life and lifestyle choices.
A variety of workshops with energy consultants, system architects, historians of culture, health professionals, and engineers will be offered.
The aim of the collective research is to produce a source book that synthesizes between bodies of diverse knowledge of professionals in their fields.