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


Fro m 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. Please send inquiries and suggestions to [email protected].

Website and project identity design by Partner & PartnersOpinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the Buell Center or Columbia University.

Past Collaborators: Eddy Almonte, Gauri Bahuguna, Henderson Beck, Claire Cancilla, Andres Julian Alvarez Davila, HK Dunston, Maya Zeleka Ephrem, Alicia French, Max Goldner, Anays M. González Sánchez, Jiazhen Lin, Maria Alejandra Linares, Emma Macdonald, Zoe Kauder Nalebuff, Rosalie Singerman Ray, Malcolm Rio, Isabelle Tan, Laura Veit, Isaac Warshauer

Power lines on the left lead toward two smokestacks, all set against fading afternoon light and snow-covered ground

A coal-fired power plant near Becker, Minnesota (Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons)