Black Sun presents a new psycho-economic strategy for the South Wales coalfields through exploring the cultural, geological and environmental significance of solar hegemony, stemming from the creation of an artificial sun. Since the closure of the mines during the 1980s, the post-industrial landscape of the coalfield has been defined by scarcity and deprivation. It has been named as the second poorest area in Western Europe, and as a result receives a significant amount of funding from the EU in development funds and infrastructural development. However, upon the British exit of the European Union, this is set to change.
Using the Sun as the source, this project speculates on a way to transform the damaging economy of scarcity that has prevailed, into an economy of excess.
A proposed artificial sun, the Black Sun, is rooted in the deep geological history of the valleys, using the disused and filled in mine shafts as pile foundations to gather the gifted energy bounced from the reversible heliostatic mirrors cloaking the surrounding hills.
Solar energy is the source of life. It is the origin of our wealth. This scheme proposes an intensification of that process, where the surplus energy production from the Black Sun is diverted to unproductive works that dissipate energy that cannot be stored. Whatever energy is not consumed domestically is diverted to unproductive luxury works, such as giant heated pools.
The changing of perspectives from a restrictive economy to a general economy also achieves a reversal of thinking and of ethics:
“If a part of wealth is doomed to destruction or at least to unproductive use without any possible profit, it is logical, even inescapable, to surrender commodities without return.”
The Accursed Share Vol 1.
(1988 New York: MIT Press)
The reversal of thinking leads to a change in how excess is thought of. Not as wealth to be acquired, but to be circulated and spent. This project imagines an environment with an excess of energy from the Sun, allowing the area to extricate itself from the very economy that is damaging it, and move into the next stage of prosperity.
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2017
+44 (0)7870 612346
My design ethos stems from an intimacy with the landscape and those who inhabit it. My designs fold together the geological, cultural and environmental heritage of the place to explore materiality, light and focus within the space.
My experience at the RCA has animated my interest in future economic scenarios, and the technologies that could change our society. Within my work are subtle changes to the believable, to enable speculation on the unbelievable.
- BA Architecture (Hons), University for the Creative Arts London, 2014
- Architectural assistant, Hawkins Brown, London, 2014–2016
- Blueprint: Graduate Issue, 2014