The Air-Conditioning Complex: Histories and Futures of Hybridization in Asia

CAD 0.00

The Air-Conditioning Complex: Histories and Futures of Hybridization in Asia

CAD 0.00

Environmental Histories of Architecture presents the work of eight researchers who each analyze specific environmental relations, crises, and reforms and demonstrate how society and the environment have been co-constructed, represented, and lived in their respective geographies. While their essays are published independently as chapters, together they cover an expansive range of thinking about how the environment changed, and was changed by, architecture.


In Chapter 5, Jiat-Hwee Chang reconstructs how the air-conditioning industry originated in North America and became such a transformative force in twentieth-century architecture, while also critiquing the industry’s simplistic assumption of a universal standard of thermal comfort. In an effort to construct a more global history, the essay presents two sites, Singapore and Doha, Qatar, as examples of the proliferation of air-conditioned complexes in the Global South in the 1970s and 1980s, that were equipped by American firms or at least drew on American expertise. And yet, Chang explores recent projects to show that, in response to tropical and desert warming, these two affluent countries are actually producing hybrid cooling strategies for buildings and public spaces that blend technology and tradition, thereby challenging the air-conditioning dependency.



Author: Jiat-Hwee Chang

Editor: Kim Förster

Managing Editor: Claire Lubell

Copyeditor: Lucas Freeman

Other contributors: Aleksandr Bierig, Nerea Calvillo, Daniel Barber, Kiel Moe, Jiat-Hwee Chang, Hannah le Roux, Isabelle Doucet, Paulo Tavares, Kim Förster

Graphic Design: Tessier A

Programming: Rosen Tomov


Published by the CCA and distributed open access through Library Stack.

This open-access publication is made available according to the terms of the license CC BY-NC-ND.


Click here to download the PDF.

Add to cart to download the ePub.

You have successfully subscribed!
Our purchase system is limited for now to deliveries in Canada and the United States. We can still ship your order if you send us an email. Please send your book order and mailing address to, and we’ll get back to you within one business day. Thanks!