Design Studio
Fall 2022

Energy and ActivismActivism and the Struggle for ChangeElla Bacchetta, Elisa Nadas, and Silvano Ursella

The mining of coal in the Rheinland by RWE has led to the destruction of its landscape and cities. Local inhabitants have been moved away from their homes and forests have disappeared due to the growth of the open pits. Different activists have emerged and started to demonstrate against the destructive mining. It has caused both local and global protests. Our analysis focuses on these different groups of resistance and how they work as a whole in this struggle.

In our research we are not experts, we are observers. We tell the story from our perspective as architects. Starting from our own experience in the territory, we then present key moments in history that influenced the current context. In order to understand the dynamics between the activists, we tell stories of the people we encountered during our trip in the Rheinland. These stories help us to illustrate the networks and relations of resistance in the region.

We concluded that successful change in today’s world requires actors and tools at every scale, local, national and global. Everyone plays a role in the whole web of those who strive for sustainable change.