Every day, more than 50,000 students converge on the Utrecht Science Park in the Netherlands, a huge cluster of over 80 companies and numerous research centres. It is one of the most competitive regions in Europe, similar to Silicon Valley or Paris-Saclay. The campus’s environmental impact is in the spotlight in the month of June.
Artists Melle Smith and Cynthia Hathaway have a 3-year project with the university, specifically on the question of its buildings’ energy consumption. Their project, “Search Department”, produced “Zero Footprint Campus”, an art installation open to the public and looking at environmental issues from a new angle. They designed a model gym with workout machines connected to a miniature hydraulic power plant that produces energy. 1 hour of exercise equals 5 kWh. One building will soon be refitted so that 25-30% of its energy will be human-generated. This is just one project in a major environmental impact review of the entire multidisciplinary hub, at the crossroads between arts and sciences.
This eco-responsible centre has received a substantial budget to transform research results into reality.
More about the Zero Footprint campus and its various projects: http://www.zerofootprintcampus.nl/en/
Melle Smets (exhibited at the Fondation Cartier): http://www.zerofootprintcampus.nl/en/participants/melle-smets/
Cynthia Hathaway: http://www.zerofootprintcampus.nl/en/participants/cynthia-hathaway/