Future architecture will be built from energy says researcher Sean Lally

Istanbul Design Biennial 2014: buildings of the future won't have walls and will instead consist of climate-controlled areas of landscape according to Sean Lally, one of the contributing designers at the Istanbul Design Biennial 2014 (+ slideshow).

Chicago-based Sean Lally leads a team of architects, landscape architects, engineers and researchers, known as Weathers, who are investigating how different forms of energy can be harnessed to create a type of sustainable architecture.

New Energy Landscapes by Sean Lally

New Energy Landscapes, the project Lally is presenting at the biennial, proposes a future scenario where energy and heating don't fill a building envelope, but instead become the envelope.

"The greatest challenge facing architecture and our broader society today is the need for advancements in harnessing energy," said Lally, who has spent eight years researching the technologies.

New Energy Landscapes by Sean Lally

"Rather than continue to focus on maximising efficiency for [energy's] conservation and consumption, we must provide an architecture with lifestyles for the future that give us new worlds to strive for and realise," he said.

Lally's research encompasses energy and material technologies, including electromagnetic, thermodynamic, acoustic and chemical power.

The images shown were created from photographs of physical models that the team has built. They show images of mysterious floating energy sources, hovering above defined floor surfaces.

New Energy Landscapes by Sean Lally

The designer says this new form of architecture without walls will fundamentally change the ways humans interact with each other and their environments.

"Without this fundamental rethinking between architecture and energy, both will remain to be seen as distinct; architecture as a building of walls and energy as a fuel for filling it," he said.

New Energy Landscapes by Sean Lally

"Instead, architecture is at a unique and adventurous stage for questioning and reinforming our definitions of architecture, and the environments and lifestyles they foster."

Lally has compiled his findings into a book entitled The Air from Other Planets.

He presents New Energy Landscapes at the second Istanbul Design Biennial, which is curated by Zoë Ryan under the theme The Future Is Not What It Used to Be, opened to the public on Saturday and runs until 14 December.

New Energy Landscapes by Sean Lally
Energy shape diagram