Designing with/for Micro-climates

Designing with/for Micro-climates is a hands-on seminar dedicated to the making of thermal environments through multiple techniques at different scales of design – from the community parks to large ventilation corridors. The students will learn the fundamental principles of thermodynamic phenomena, associated nomenclature, and the body’s metabolic processes in the context of increasing thermal vulnerability. The technical components of the seminar include workshops on Computational Fluid Analysis (CFA) and the production of Infrared imagery (FLIR thermographics) for quantitative analysis of space using the Harvard Campus as a learning site. A series of lectures will showcase paradigmatic design case studies created in response to challenging climatic profiles and/or energetic concerns, social patterns and/or cultural ethos. This seminar will examine their micro-climatic assemblies and associated spatio-thermal effects in promoting individual and community wellbeing. In parallel to the quantitative aspects of designing-with-weather, the seminar will also explore the historical connection between climate, design, and individual or collective use, and the central principles for integrating weather as design matter toward multiple, nurturing, and integrative environments able to respond to the ever-growing climatic challenges.