Notions of Expenditure

Notions of Expenditure is a "request for speculative proposals to re-design exercise equipment to generate and store energy; and/or to retrofit gyms to function as local power sources linked to the grid." Initiated by artist A. Laurie Palmer, who also initiated a project for DuSable Park in Chicago, the project is aided by the support from Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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Proposals can be uploaded directly from the web page, with submitted proposals available for viewing (two at the time of writing). The deadline is May 1.

Update 01.25.06: The above links have been fixed. As of this update, about twenty projects are featured on the web site.


  1. A damn fine idea, that. Recovery some of that wasted energy made necessary by overconsumption. Maybe new types of gym equipment could be popularized, like great Vitruvian wheels with multiple yokes for people to push in circles. A masculine alternative to spinning class.

  2. cool! i wish i had some $$$ to back it. in my head i see people in the gym as mice running on the wheel and treadmil and such. Now that wheel has two purposes : ) way to multi-task for mother earth ****

  3. IMMEDIATLY creating club to develop small generators to easily fit onto all aerobic products leading to a grid system or stand alone system or both. Fees are low and 75% of club dues will be used to hire top engineers and apply for grants.Club membership will be include ownership sharing if successful. Please respond to Joel Ball, 760-730-1866 or

  4. Hi, I am doing a school project on the same idea! I am excited that someone has thought about this before (and a little sad that it is not 'orginally' mine anymore.. haha, but anyway..). I am wondering if, let's say, after a stationary bike has been used for a while, can the electricity it produces be stored somewhere for later use? (like battery maybe?) Because the lights used in bikes, they dont light up when you don't pedal and as soon as you stop pedalling, they stop shining.

    I would love any website links or extra information on this if you have any.

    By the way, I am an Indsutrial Design major at California College of the Arts. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  5. Dear Linda,

    How is the school project coming along? I know of some more infor if you are interested. Please contact me at (


  6. Dear Folks
    We seem to be on the same wavelength: I am a permaculure consultant for a hotel group in Asia and I am currently woring on a low impact prototype hotel room. One of the elements I wanted to incorporate was a gym connected to the photovoltaic setup with an energy guage. I had thought of a exercise bike and a rowing machine- does anyone have any concrete ideas of what type of generator would be suitable and where I could purchase one? I would be really happy to collaborate on any ideas and I ay ne able to find some financial backing.
    Fee free to email me.
    Best regards

  7. There seems to some work done on pedal powered generators.

  8. There seems to some work done on pedal powered generators.


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