Air, Architecture + Other Climates

[50.0° to 61.0° N : Thermal Domains] - 22/23
Ben Pollock + Laura Nica


About

For the past three years, DS18 has carried out its investigations through the realms of air and atmosphere in the context of our global climate and ecological emergency. In Norway, we studied the role atmospheric change plays in the reshaping of ecosystems and tensions between human and non-human life. Returning to the UK, we focused on carbon, exploring how this element has generated the physical and cultural fabric of our energy-abundant society and further speculated on Climate-Form (1) as an alternative. This year we are turning our focus and research expertise to explore thermodynamic conditions, gradients, thresholds and morphing socio-economic territories driven by climate, heat and energy.

In the summer of ‘22, the UK saw record-breaking heat waves reaching temperatures above 40°C, leading to widespread disruptions, failing infrastructure and water shortages. While this winter looks to be equally as bleak; with the ongoing energy crisis and public ‘warming havens’ (2) expected to be set up for those most in need. These are the felt effects of atmospherically driven climate change, fossil fuel dependency and thermal irregularities which threaten to destabilise our territorial climate. As a result, we must consider a more urgent re-imagining of our society’s thermal and extractive practices.

As a vehicle of energy, heat radiates, penetrates, destroys, reshapes and nourishes. Through temperature mapping across graphs and thermometers, our thermal comfort has modified both landscapes and urban environments, and it has become a tool for capturing, channelling, storin or accelerating energetic dissipation (3). Throughout this year’s design explorations w endeavour to test narratives for what future a fluctuating thermal systems hold for local ecologies, communities and inhabitants; and what is architecture’s possible role within this - one of resistance, remediation, manipulations of energy or rebalancing?


(1) Lizzie Yarina (2019) Toward Climate Form, Log 47: Overcoming Carbon Form, Anyone Corporation, p.85-92
(2) ‘Libraries and museums to be ‘warm havens’ for people struggling with energy bills’ 20 Aug 2022, The Guardian Online
(3) Hampton Smith and Zachariah DeGiulio, Thresholds 51: Heat, MIT, 202

See Past Studios:

2021-2022: Climate Futures, Dungeness
2020-2021: Carbon Transitions, UK
2019-2020: +Other Climates, Norway