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Fanny Lopez

-Marie Alexandroff on the self-sufficient city. Yona Friedman’s modernized peasant civilization In 1958, in L’Architecture mobile , Yona Friedman had criticized the rigidity of the infrastructure and called on architects to “free the dwelling from its networks.” What should be noted, however, is the simultaneity of his reflections on the recycling of materials, energy autonomy and self-planning. Breaking with the role traditionally assigned to him, Friedman would no longer be the designer and organizer but a consultant providing structural and environmental knowledge. It is

in Dreams of disconnection
From the autonomous house to self-sufficient territories
Author: Fanny Lopez

The energy autonomy project defies a century-old system: that of the industrial model of large networks which, on the scale of cities or vast territories, comprised the dominant production mode of many utilities – water, sewage, energy – marginalizing decentralized solutions. Today, with the energy transition a vital issue, this unified large technical system is tottering. A new imaginary dimension of the infrastructure is being built within which the world of architecture has taken hold of the energy question, imagining autonomous inhabitable machines, self-sufficient cities, eco-infrastructures and micro-grids. Right from the beginning, these disconnection protagonists have fueled two ambitions: being emancipated from the hold of the large infrastructures and, through a utilities system incorporated into buildings, guaranteeing minimum comfort in water, electricity and heating. Among the figureheads are forgotten personalities and others who are famous, such as John Adolphus Etzler with his autonomous mechanical system of 1841, and Thomas Edison and his electrically autonomous house of 1912. The energy autonomy movement, however, did not reach maturity internationally until after the 1973 oil crisis. Propelled by American counterculture, autonomy spread geographically and became institutionalized, moving from the housing unit to the city and the territory. Alexander Pike’s autonomous house or Jeanne-Marie and Georges Alexandroff’s self-sufficient city attest to the power of this trend, which combined technical virtuosity and the economic, political, social and environmental project. All of them heralded today’s discussions, which this work sheds light on through its historical approach.

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Fanny Lopez

-existing or rival decentralized models. Today, the rising demand for an energy transition and the resulting panoply of alternative models (energy living machines, self-sufficient cities, micro-grids and other eco-infrastructures) are tangible signs of the deconstruction of what historians of technology call the “large technical system.” 4 Architects’ enthusiasm for energy issues has spawned a new imaginary repertory of infrastructural systems. Energy autonomy, however, is a technological utopia that has inspired architectural and urban projects for over a century

in Dreams of disconnection
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A problematic development
Fanny Lopez

Alexandroff reduced their architecture to autonomous energy structures. In his projects in Mexico, the proposals for emergency infrastructure or the visions of the self-sufficient city, the machinist deployment was clearly perceived as an interplay of aesthetics and architecture. The construction of a new infrastructure was experimented on in the imaginary sphere, in which every extrapolation was possible. This desire clearly showed through in the solar or wind monuments erected to the glory of the technological renewal. Energy was envisaged architecturally (see Figures

in Dreams of disconnection
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Legal cartographies of migration and mobility
Ayelet Shachar

self-sufficientcities” in refugee camps in so-called haven countries in the vicinity of conflict zones. These latter suggestions are not uncontroversial. 200 Resettlement facilitates relocation from refugee camps in conflict zones, where the vast majority of the world’s displaced persons are presently hosted, to willing third countries that are often far removed from the conflict zone. For states, this “de-territorialized” procedure grants control and containment, in lieu of the chaos of spontaneous migration, in addition to facilitating a “tangible expression

in The shifting border