evolveEA Hidden Energies Exhibit at Commonplace Voluto Coffeeshop

Hidden Energies

We are surrounded by energies that we do not see—energy in the materials that we use, the things we do, and in the forces of nature that move around us. Collaboration unlocks energy in communities and in relationships.

evolveEA Heat Reactive TableDemonstrating this concept, evolveEA created an exhibition at our neighborhood coffee shop. To celebrate Commonplace Voluto as an epicenter of our community’s energy, we altered the space with a series of installations that make hidden energies visible. On view through the month of September 2013, the show linked imagery from evolveEA projects to objects we created and installed. As people interacted with these objects, various energies were revealed: a thermo-chromic table responded to heat, a wall sculpture interacted with sunlight that shined through the windows, and another device captured and recorded motion as people opened and closed a door.

Images from three projects were on display, revealing hidden energies made visible through design:

Design can make visible a community’s energy.

ENERGY  Larimer residents have been collaborating to envision a sustainable future of thriving economics, a healthy environment, and social justice.
Larimer’s energy is captured in plans for an ecodistrict that helps all residents strive for economic advantage through energy, food and water independence.

Design can make visible a family’s energy.

ENERGY  This family relocated to Dearborn, MI to work for the auto industry, knowing that their stay may be temporary, subject to whims of the global economy.

Extended Stay is a proposal for a mobile homestead designed so that the whole environment can be moved when the family needs to chase opportunity.  The project questions the limits of our physical environment in addressing socio-economic issues.

Design can make visible a neighborhood’s energy.

ENERGY  Upper Lawrenceville is a place where today’s makers sit beside yesterday’s industrial giants.

Upper Lawrenceville’s energy is captured in a plan to connect to the river with a barge pool, bike trails, and a market.  Alley housing welcomes residents in an accessible and affordable enclave.  Green streets capture stormwater and return it to the river clean.


If you’re in Pittsburgh, visit Commonplace Voluto for great coffee and art by local artists and designers!

Evolve EA