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Weather Architecture
Weather Architecture (London and New York: Routledge, 2012) is a 100,00 word authored book. At a time when environmental awareness is of increasing relevance, Weather Architecture considers the history of architecture as a history of weather. For centuries, environmental awareness has been central to the architectural imagination. But, in contrast, current attitudes to climate change reduce nature-culture relations to a merely technical concern. Questioning the narrowly technocratic conception of the architect as problem solver and moderator of climatic performance, Weather Architecture offers an alternative model of architectural authorship that acknowledges the creative influences of the weather as well as the architect and user. Weather and climate differ in duration and scale. Unlike the weather, which we can see and feel at a specific time and place, we cannot directly perceive climate because it is an idea aggregated over many years and across a region. This book considers climate as well as weather but its principal focus is everyday experience so that environmental awareness is informed by context and history. The dialogue between architecture and weather is a means to encourage buildings that co-exist with their immediate and wider environments and acknowledge time, decay and change. Grounding environmental awareness in historical understanding, Weather Architecture emphasises that a critical understanding of the past can be a catalyst to creativity. Analysis of the effects of weather and climate on the design and experience of specific buildings and gardens is interwoven with a survey of changing attitudes to the weather and climate in the arts, sciences and society from the eighteenth century to the present, which relates environmental issues to other influences on architecture. Weather Architecture begins with the picturesque and romanticism, when a combined fascination for subjectivity and the natural world established an architectural environmentalism that had a profound influence on subsequent centuries. It then considers how this tradition acquired renewed relevance in the mid twentieth century as a means to reassess and revise modernism, while today it is increasingly relevant due to anthropogenic climate change. Recognising the emergence of a hybridised weather that has become industrial, electromagnetic and radioactive as well as natural, Weather Architecture provides a critical re-evaluation of contemporary architectural responses to climate change as well as weather.
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