Exploiting Natural Energy Flows through disruptive Holistic Engineering
Dealing with the climate and energy challenges facing humanity requires transformational thinking. Our proposal draws on insights from complexity science and shows how they can be employed to develop solutions which are disruptive (in creating new opportunities) and holistic. We use our understanding of complexity to identify and exploit natural energy flows and 'transport mechanisms' which are already active in nature. We propose four energy-related prototypes based on this thinking each of which
Describe the critical need your solution addresses.
DHE is well developed and is based on techniques used in our work since 1998. In Phase 1 we will extend DHE to make it more accessible to the energy flow debate and work with schools, universities and institutions promoting similar approaches to explain and explore DHE. We are very open to employing DHE (which have been the subject of recent conference papers by our team) to developing new proposals with any interested parties.
Our Prototypes are in the concept phase and our intention would be to mature them through an iterative process involving other appropriate / alternative technology groups.
In Phase 2 we will develop the proposals into simulations and make them available online as 'disruptive resources' to stimulate debate and illustrate the value of DHE.
In Phase 3, we would examine a range of enabling technologies and techniques which would be suitable candidates for the Prototypes.
Concurrently, in Phase 4, following further design and evaluation, we would build a working version of either the Integrated Domestic Appliances (P1) prototype or of the Energy Pole (P2) and manage its implementation. We feel the Energy Pole would be easier to develop and deploy in the shorter-term and would provide a wide benefit (for example to those in remote locations such as Pacific Islands). The realisation of the Integrated Domestic Appliances is a much longer-term activity requiring engagement with major manufacturers.
Ongoing Outreach. During this work we will continually monitor and evaluate our activities and provide an on-line blog where others can learn from our discoveries and experiences and comment on our progress.
Explain your initiative in more depth and its stage of development.
Our proposal is:
Comprehensive - in that it addresses the key need for transformation and offers a pragmatic approach, DHE, which encompasses wider issues and addresses the challenges of energy needs and climate change.
Anticipatory - in that it faces critical future trends boldly and offers innovative prototypes with beneficial long term impacts.
Ecologically responsible - in that it actively engages with nature's underlying principles while enhancing the Earth’s life-support systems in recognising that human behaviour must change accordingly.
Feasible - in that it has already identified current technology and existing resources which can be employed in all the prototypes;
Verifiable - in that DHE has already undergone peer review and that empirical testing of the enabling techniques, technologies and prototypes will be possible.
Replicable - in that, from the outset, the concepts and prototypes are designed to scale, adapt to and positively exploit a broad range of conditions.
How does your strategy and approach respond creatively and comprehensively to key issues?
External Support. DHE has received external support from users for whom we have drawn together complementary concepts in a way that adds value (not just in financial terms).
Previous Work. Our previous work in critical areas of security and humanitarian support has provided ample evidence of the inadequacies of linear thinking and mechanistic engineering paradigms. We have taken into consideration the successes and failures of other these other techniques and feel that a clear pattern is evident - that their inability to understand how nature functions and how to engage with natural dynamics leads to dysfunctional interventions - which is why we are passionate about alternative approaches like DHE.
Track Record. Our track record is of working with professionals and communities (who are striving to develop their understanding of nature and complexity) to indicate ways to positively exploit these phenomena. The practical skills of the team, and years of successful multi-disciplinary working, mean that we have positive and pragmatic experience to draw upon. Projects include: Support to community development and policy-making for the provision of affordable housing. Three major property renovation projects employing energy exchange and recovery. The use of DHE in a transformational manner in the development and building of agent-based information systems employing 'human-machine teaming (with academia, industry and government). Support to policy-making in Sierra Leone and Nepal. More than 25 years working on world-class, multi-disciplinary research projects.
This entry to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2009 is (c) 2008. The abaci Partnership LLP, UK.