Thermodynamic Memories

Lessons from the Past

Luis Fernández-Galiano 

The energy crises of the seventies left their mark on the generation which entered architecture then, and the current climate crisis is having a similar effect on the architects starting their practice in the first decade of the 21st century. If the energy scares of 1973-74 and 1979 brought a sense of urgency and shaped the perception of the seventies, the scientifically grounded alarm expressed by the climate change conferences – from Kyoto 1997 to the one to be held in Paris in December 2015 –, are forcing the architects of the noughties to look again towards thermodynamics and atmospheres, rediscovering much of the work carried out forty years before. Then as now, the economic and technical shifts established the intellectual and aesthetic agenda of the times, and architects tried to address the new challenges both learning from the past and gaining access to contemporary tools...

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