Design Before Air Conditioning: A New Book Surveys Early Experiments in Climate Control


A graphic shows some early microclimate-tailored strategies detailed in "Modern Architecture and Climate: Design Before Air Conditioning" by Daniel A. Barber. Image Courtesy of Princeton University Press

A graphic shows some early microclimate-tailored strategies detailed in "Modern Architecture and Climate: Design Before Air Conditioning" by Daniel A. Barber. Image Courtesy of Princeton University Press

It’s easy to think of Modernism as inseparable from air conditioning, simply because we are surrounded by so much of it that is. A valuable reminder that this wasn’t always the case is provided in University of Pennsylvania architecture professor Daniel A. Barber’s Modern Architecture and Climate: Design Before Air Conditioning (Princeton University Press), which outlines the story of the febrile, flexible, and often-forgotten early experiments in climate control.

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