Lauren Alessandra Wilson

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2014


Electricity, Vehicles, Energy, Sustainability, Wilson






The goal of this thesis is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, lower the carbon emission footprint, and ignite a paradigm shift towards clean energy usage. Architecture can play a role in increasing the accessibility of sustainable modes of transit by changing the way energy is produced and distributed throughout the city. Accepting both the reliance and privatization of the automobile as givens, this idea caters to a transitional stage of travel, shifting from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric powered vehicles. Current technological limitations are stunting the momentum of a sustainable transit phenomenon, i.e. EV battery charge time and storage capacity, proximity of EVSE charging points to desired destinations and the capacity of the city grid to supply and distribute adequate amounts of energy. However by embracing these limitations as design objectives one can begin to develop ubiquitous charging points that not only provide reassurance against range anxiety but also brand an idea of clean energy. The typology will be self-sustaining in terms of energy through manipulation of its facade/exterior treatment. The nodes will create a positive urban experience, and common language through, signage, lighting, coloration, and surface treatment, that showcase a cultural commitment to the new technology.


80%-90% of charging takes place at 1 home, these charging stations will focus on the other 10%-20% of charging that might occur in downtown lots, parking garages, on-street parking or highway stops. The nodes will feed energy to modes of public and private transit as well as acting as one of several pods within the city setting the stage for a self-organizing and adaptive networked phenomenon. Charge points will be connected to a media network interface 􀁆􀁏􀁂􀁃􀁍􀁊􀁏􀁈􀀃 􀁕􀁉􀁆􀀃 􀁖􀁔􀁆􀁓􀀃 􀁕􀁐􀀃 􀁆􀁇􀁭􀁄􀁊􀁆􀁏􀁕􀁍􀁚􀀃 􀁭􀁏􀁅􀀃 􀁕􀁉􀁆􀀃 closest vacant parking space. “A fundamental prerequisite for the major transport revolution we anticipate will be 􀁑􀁓􀁐􀁗􀁊􀁔􀁊􀁐􀁏􀀃 􀁐􀁇􀀃 􀁔􀁖􀁇􀁭􀁄􀁊􀁆􀁏􀁕􀀃 􀁆􀁍􀁆􀁄􀁕􀁓􀁊􀁄􀀃 􀁆􀁏􀁆􀁓􀁈􀁚􀀏􀁷􀀃􀀃􀀃 Challenging the conventional centralized single-sourced production and distribution of energy will allow for an interesting dynamic between production and consumer. As oppose to transporting energy from a power plant, energy will be locally produced directly from the architectural façade and into the vehicle creating a direct intersection between energies of the cities and the physical energy being consumed. The nodes will act as energy umbilici and when charging is not taking place, energy will be distributed back into the grid. In expanding and branding this typology of infrastructure as accessible, consistent and simple to use, EV’s will emerge as a viable option for drivers.

Additional Information

Thesis Advisers: Brian Lonsway, Jonathan Massey

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