The New Boricua Energy Authority

The new Boricua of a hurricane-disrupted Puerto Rico seeks community in energy democracy. Amid conditions of radical decentralization, the design of a  Resilience Zone invites architectural intervention. As cleaner local energy becomes more practical, it raises competing utopias. This thesis explores ways in which architectural expression, hyperlocal guidance, and decentralized energy systems can help counter neo-colonial development models that have led the recent wave of privatization, into an elite autonomous “Puertopia”. By introducing a participatory design approach and vacant space reclamation, districts will explore the possibility of transforming into a Resilience Zone composed of hubs that promote and teach constituents of the community how to prosper by using renewable-decentralized energy. The architecture of a Resilience Zone represents not only cleaner energy but also a  new dimension of civic education. In evoking what was a formerly invisible resource, The New Boricua Energy  Authority finds a new genre for design. The architectural proposal serves as an micro-grid archetype that would adapt to zones throughout the island where communities could benefit from a built and social network in the spirit of resilience.
Faculty Advisor:
Malcolm McCullough