Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism
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gov-chair-energy-and-urbanism-logoWhat is the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism?

Watch the Governor’s Chair Video


Started in 2014, the Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments (Energy + Urbanism) is an unprecedented five-year, $2.5 million public-private partnership of the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Governor’s Chair is a catalyst for change that seeks to optimize the relationship between energy and urbanism. Using the unique collaboration of science, design and academia, the Governor’s Chair partners pursue Phil Enquist Governor's Chair

  • environmentally responsible design
  • emerging clean energy technologies for buildings and communities
  • sustainable urban planning and
  • a merging of urbanism and natural systems

to open new vistas of research and exploration.

For more information:


Governor’s Chair:  Phil Enquist

Philip Enquist, partner in charge of urban design and planning at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, serves as the Governor’s Chair.  Read about Enquist.


Governor’s Chair Studios

GovernorsChair LocalMotors Organic Modularity.pdfJames Rose leads the Governor’s Chair Graduate Architecture Studio.  Investigations have included repurposing the Tennessee Valley Authority towers in downtown Knoxville, designing structures in parallel with and collaborating on the design of AMIE and additional work in additive manufacturing with partner Local Motors.

Watch Rose’s PechaKucha presentation.







2016_0902-ft-loudoun-lockBrad Collett leads the Governor’s Chair Tennessee River Studio, which started with a 1,000+ mile tour of the Tennessee River watershed.  Students are investigating 21st Century challenges the river faces and designing ways the river can be nurtured and responsibly harnessed.  Read more about the studio’s work and the Tennessee River Project.


Watch a video about the Tennessee River Studio.


AMIE (Additive Manufacturing and Integrated Energy) is a project completed in Year 1 of the Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments. It was unveiled in September 2015, after only nine months of design and production. UT Governor’s Chair Studio students, led by James Rose, collaborated on the project and designed structures in parallel to AMIE.

Learn more about AMIE at and


Timeline for the Design and Production of AMIE


April 2014 – Governor’s Chair Begins

Three visionary organizations, ORNL, UT College of Architecture and Design and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, form a unique collaboration called Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments (Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism) to identify methods for sustainable design and urban planning.


August 2014 – Big Ideas

Partners in the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism dream of a sustainable prototype that leverages a vehicle to power an enclosure.


September 2014 – Planting Seeds

Program managers within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy spark the idea for additive manufacturing for buildings.


receipt-amieOctober 2014 – Engaging Design

Early collaboration with UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair Phil Enquist with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP occurs at a downtown diner, resulting in the first iteration of AMIE on the back of the receipt.


December 2014 – Around the Table

Design planning meeting brings together building technologies and design expertise.


January 2015 – Students Engaged

The UT Governor’s Chair studio focusing on additive manufacturing begins. Students begin learning about 3D printing and cladding systems and visit Clayton Homes with others on the AMIE team to learn about manufactured homes.


January 2015 – Early Designs

Innovative ideas that will turn industry upside down.


February 2015 – Energy Integration

Research team pulls printed house concept into integrated energy systems project, including transportation and energy research


February 2015 – Change in Structure

Team makes a decision to move from traditional stud framing to 3D printing to create AMIE’s structure and enclosure, with no need for a wood structure at all.


February 2015 – Student Early Designs

Students in the Governor’s Chair studio visit ORNL’s MDF to present cladding designs to ORNL researchers. They then begin designing additive manufacturing urban infill housing.


March 2016 – Students Focus on Scale, NetZero

Governor’s Chair students begin designing an additive manufacturing interpretive center in parallel with SOM’s design of AMIE.


March 2015 – Student Engagement

Dept. of Energy requests students in Governor’s Chair studio be engaged in AMIE.


April 2015 – Early Production

Utilizing additive manufacturing to enable integration of advanced technologies.


April 2015 – Student Final Designs

Students present their designs of the additive manufacturing interpretive center in their final review.


May 2015 – Powertrain Controls Prototyping and Integration

Rapid development of a novel hybrid electric powertrain, designed to power vehicle and building.


July 2015 – Finishing House Panels

Printed house components are finished and painted at Tru-Design.


July 2015 – Powered by Natural Gas

Installing a range-extender internal combustion engine fueled by natural gas.


August 2015 – Vehicle Powers House

Innovations in bidirectional wireless power transfer enable hands off power transfer to and from vehicle.


August 2015 – House Assembly

Partnered with Clayton Homes to assemble 3D printed sections of the house.


Students Visit AMIESeptember 2015 – First Demo

AMIE unveiled at EERE Industry Day at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


January 2016 – #MeetAMIE

The AMIE demo project goes on the road. First stop, the 2016 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.







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