POWER  _  Infrastructure in  America

A project at Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture connecting infrastructure, politics, and life.

POWER challenges participants to think about how infrastructure relates to life across a series of intersecting concerns, including democratic governance and climate justice.

From border walls to oil pipelines to microchips, technical infrastructures govern life in myriad ways. Objects of intense political, social, and economic contestation, these systems distribute power in both senses of the word: as energy and as force. Concentrating on the United States but extending internationally, this website brings together a multimedia collection of essays, events, initiatives, and resources, offering overlapping windows onto how “America” is constructed infrastructurally to exclude neighbors and to divide citizens. But infrastructures can also connect. Organized in a modular fashion as an open access resource for learning, teaching, and acting, the website’s contents enable visitors to better understand the complex webs of power shaping our lives and the lives of others. Change begins with connecting the dots.

POWER is an initiative of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, which was founded in 1982. Its mission is to advance the interdisciplinary study of American architecture, urbanism, and landscape. A separately endowed entity within the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, it sponsors research projects, workshops, public programs, publications, and awards.