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Events September 2020

DOCOMOMO NY/TRIModern Conversations

Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning with Daniel A. Barber

September 15, 2020

This virtual talk will discuss the role of climate and the management of thermal interiors in the development of modern architecture. After a summary of developments in the inter-war work of Le Corbusier in Spain and Irmãos Roberto in Brazil, postwar developments in the the tri-state area will be examined, including the Princeton-based research of Victor and Aladar Olgyay and the House Beautiful/AIA ‘Climate Control’ project. Emphasis will be placed on how knowledge of climate patterns led to a range of innovative design strategies, in both suburban homes and urban skyscrapers. These buildings maintain a potent relevance in light of contemporary challenges for the energy-efficient conservation of modern buildings.

This program coincides with the recent publication of Daniel Barber’s Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning (Princeton University Press, 2020.) It explores how leading architects of the 20th century incorporated climate-mediating strategies into their designs, and shows how regional approaches to climate adaptability were essential to the development of modern architecture.

Participants may purchase the book with a 30% discount and free shipping through October 15, 2020. Please click here and enter promo code MAC-FG.

Daniel A. Barber is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Chair of the Graduate Group in Architecture (PhD Program) at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. He was a Ziff Environmental Fellow at Harvard University Center for the Environment from 2010-2012. Daniel received a BA in comparative history of ideas from the University of Washington, and a PhD in architecture (history and theory) from Columbia University. He also holds a Master of Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture, and an MFA in studio art from Mills College. He is the author of A House in the Sun: Modern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War (2016) and Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning (2020.)

Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 pm
Tickets are FREE for DOCOMOMO Members. $10 General Admission.


Advance registration required. 
Please note: this is a virtual program. Log-in information will be sent to registrants prior to the event.

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Testing a house model. Victor and Aladar Olgyay, Thermoheliodon, Princeton Architectural Laboratory, 1956, from Colliers magazine.
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Faulkner, Kingsbury, and Stenhouse with Olgyay and Olgyay consulting, American Association for the Advancement of Science Building, Washington, D. C., 1955.
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House in Columbus, Ohio, from “A Lesson in Climate Control,” in House Beautiful October 1949.


Week of September 13th