"From the window of a TGV hurtling through France, the countryside flattens to a smudge-electrical towers rise and recede in clusters, and tall, lanky wind turbines seem to whip off pirouettes like a young Moira Shearer. Most passengers turn their heads, nodding off on a neighbor or burying their noses in Le Monde, but for a triumvirate of young designers, the sight is a view of the future. The passing turbines and pylons augur a new way to harness renewable energy in a country that relies almost entirely on nuclear power. "When we're riding on the train, we al-ways see pylons, and some turbines too," Nicola Delon says. "We say, ‘Both are here. Can't we mix them together?'"
Delon, who is 31 and an architect, is the recipient of Metropolis's 2009 Next Generation prize, along with Julien Choppin, also a 31-year-old architect, and Raphaël Ménard, a 34-year-old engineer. Their project, Wind-it, addresses this year's theme-which beseeched entrants to "Fix Our Energy Addiction"-with the effortless simplicity of a Pythagorean proof. The team proposes inserting wind turbines into existing electrical towers or, where infrastructure is broken or spare, building new towers that double as wind-power generators, thus introducing a fount of renewable energy into an aspect of civilization that's as certain as taxes. With three potential sizes, the turbine towers could be integrated nearly anywhere: Lille, France, China's Sichuan Province, or the streets of New York City."