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  • Traditional Knowledge & Innovative Design at the Solar Decathlon

    When: Friday, June 26, 2020, 12–12:45 p.m. ET
    Where: Streaming online
    Category: Narrative Session
    Real-time captioning available

    Watch and comment on Facebook or YouTube

    This year, the Folklife Festival explores how cultural knowledge shapes the ways we understand, experience, and respond to ever-changing natural, social, and built environments. One of the programs featured is the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, a collegiate competition, comprising ten contests, which challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.

    Each of the Solar Decathlon teams bring its own distinctive geographic location and cultural traditions to bear on designs and techniques for construction of their competing homes. Students combine traditional knowledge and practices with cutting-edge innovation to realize the future of our built environment.

    Three of the participating international teams share their thinking and approaches to the subject of how cultural knowledge has informed their house-building plans:

    • Chile: Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María; Valparaíso, Chile
    • Netherlands: Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences Utrecht; Utrecht, Netherlands
    • United States: University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Las Vegas, Nevada


    This event is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

  • Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.