The fossil fuel era is ending rapidly. The International Energy Agency has indicated that global use of fossil fuels will peak by the end of the 2020s. However, the projected data looks more like a cliff than a pinnacle, whose long, flat plateau will stretch decades into the future. This is in part because of the ways that fossil fuel use is locked into buildings and has become integral to so many aspects of our lifestyles. As a result, we cannot just “build more efficiently” to stem the extraction of fossil fuels. Rather, the duration of fossil fuel dependency is in large part determined by how rapidly and radically existing buildings can be decarbonized.

After Comfort: A User’s Guide is a project by e-flux Architecture in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Liverpool, and Transsolar.

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19 essays
Silvia Benedito
When does the scope of architecture stop and landscape architecture start (and vice-versa) relative to thermally safe public environments? Disciplinar…
If the industrial age dreamt of perpetual motion, then we must dream of perpetual climate.
Joe Osae-Addo and Kwabena Appeaning Addo
My first thought was “How do I create a building that responds to the weather better than most,” so that I don’t have to use air conditioning? That was my primary focus.
Gail Brager and Mark DeKay
Imagine for a moment what life would be like if you and everyone around you ate the same foods at every meal, never experienced weather or the sky’s changing light, heard only a constant monotone with no music or bird song, and lived devoid of art to delight the eye.
As I was writing this, the mid-June daytime temperature in Beijing reached 40°C, exceeding the average by nearly 10 degrees. In times like these, it …
Florian Idenburg
Since the founding of your office, you’ve built several cultural projects across New York City, but, recently, you have started working on housing projects, all of which are in Brooklyn.
Salmaan Craig
Today’s drug of choice is convenience. We live cut off from its side effects, surrounded by unnoticed magic. Flick a switch, and cool air decants from expected places.
Bioclimatically conditioned public spaces can bring equity to the city by making comfort more accessible. But these public spaces could also be something more.
Second Edition
Today, comfort in the home has too often come to mean excess. Home describes not a space to be comfortable, but rather a space that is convenient, a servant to the whims of its occupant.
Ikko Kobayashi and Fumi Kashimura
We aimed to approach the architecture in the same way, which meant carefully observing and reinterpreting the environment, climate, way of life, spatial arrangements, and materialities that can be seen in Kampala.
The Color, Green We scuttled along village roads we pretended were runways. Back then Green was just a color and not a manifesto Back then…
Architects and designers tend to think of themselves as agents of change and innovation, yet what they do is overwhelmingly reactionary. Indeed, design mobilizes and transforms disparate objects and materials towards one another, unlocking their ability to communicate and interact.
The environmental crisis could lead to the emergence of a new, strange form of communion between beings and things. But up until now, the opposite has happened.
Rachael Wakefield-Rann
The modernist optimism that saw the advent of air-conditioning, mass produced materials, standardized buildings, and global distribution networks is predicated on the illusion that we have transcended our ecologies. However, as we have continued on this trajectory, our bubbles have come to seem increasingly porous.
Marc Angélil and Cary Siress
Despite all design intentions, nothing ever goes as planned. Everything eventually breaks down. Ultimately, whatever is there will have to be fixed.
Soha Macktoom, Nausheen H. Anwar, and Mariam Ahmad
In the design of Karachi’s largest public university, notions of identity and specific visions of development have long overshadowed conversations about thermal comfort and heat exposure.
Roger Boltshauser and Matthias Peterseim
This paradigm of site-specificity was eliminated with the introduction of fossil-fuel driven HVAC. However, dealing with local climates has not been totally forgotten; even celebrated modern architects like Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn made efforts to adapt to different climate zones.
Aleksandra Kędziorek
The Hansen family clothed and unclothed their home according to the rhythm of the seasons. During heatwaves, they would place a tulle curtain in the doorway. During frosty weather, a thick, quilted fabric was nailed to the front door to insulate the hall.
Daniel A. Barber, Jeannette Kuo, Ola Uduku, Thomas Auer, and e-flux Architecture
After Comfort: A User’s Guide is a project by e-flux Architecture in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Liverpool, and Transsolar.
Architecture, Nature & Ecology
Climate change, Environment

After Comfort: A User’s Guide is a project by e-flux Architecture in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Liverpool, and Transsolar.


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