The project described in this paper explores ideas for building-integrated wind energy (BIWE) in middle-rise buildings in northwest Pennsylvania. The project combines technical, environmental and aesthetic research and design studies by an interdisciplinary team of architects, architectural engineers, aerospace engineers, landscape architects, and meteorologists. The project forms a testing ground for new architectural strategies for a place-based approach of wind turbine implementation in buildings and the urban environment. While current research focuses primarily on technical performance and the economics of wind turbines, this project combines research on wind behavior around buildings with design investigations of wind-optimized building forms and the aesthetic potential of turbine integration in architecture. The project links exploratory research to the education for sustainable architecture and technology. The paper summarizes the first step of the research, outcomes of an academic design studio and a symposium on BIWE with architects, engineers, turbine industry representatives and artists.