Something in the Air

A new book on modern architecture and climate researches the passive cooling strategies that immediately preceded the age of air-conditioning. In the age of accelerating climate change, can we learn anything from them?

Air conditioning in the workplace - man seated at his desk in the office. ‘Carrier’ advert from programme of the Royal Opera’s ‘Coronation Season’, 1937. (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images)

For the climate crisis, one of the biggest challenges is urban life itself. So much of the energy that we produce through burning fossil fuels goes into the construction, maintenance, and operation of buildings, from the carbon-intensive industrial processes that make cement or steel to the power that keeps buildings and streets lit up and […]

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