Energy is too abstract. It provides a common measurement for vastly different kinds of capabilities, and so requires plans, images, narratives, and other kinds of accounts to make it useful for policy and design. Energy accounts take many forms, from data-driven resource projections to heat or air flow simulations in buildings to images of future cars, cities, and regions. Architectural, urban, and infrastructural plans are based on scenarios developed by economists, demographers, and policy analysts, but also shape those scenarios, and together they rest on deeper narratives about risk, growth, and the common good.
As a contribution to the DOE funded Energy-Efficient Building HUB (EEB HUB) we are convening a public symposium at the University of Pennsylvania on January 23-24, 2014. This is the third in a series about Architecture and Energy, which will bring together architects, designers, scientists, economists, and other scholars and professionals engaged with the future of energy in order to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue in which architectural, economic, and scientific visions of the future can be assessed according to their potential for effecting change.