From Exigent to Adaptive
The Humans of Air Architecture and Beyond
The divorce between the disciplines of architectural design and systems engineering in conjunction with the scientisation of comfort-standards encourages a year-round and day-round comfort routine to the contemporary human. In his proposal for Air Architecture, French artist Yves Klein proposes the opposite: an architecture devoid of the responsibility to temper human environs. Mechanical machinery enables an architecture to come, while Klein’s proposal for an Architecture of Air imagines a future adaptive-human. Before the popularisation of interior weather, Native populations employed adaptations, or experience a ‘change of human sensitivity’, much like native plants and animals do in order to survive their environment, much like the transformation that Klein describes. In a world where resource reduction and scaremongering tactics regarding climate change do not accomplish enough, we must think towards a more enriched human existence, for a thriving, strengthened human race. Klein uses architecture to imagine a new, joyful world to come, encouraging human evolution through the employment of playful mechanics.
Canguilhem, Georges. ‘The Living and Its Milieu’ in Grey Room 03, trans. John Savage. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001.
Cooper, Gail. ‘From Luxury to Necessity’, in Air-Conditioning America: Engineers and the Controlled Environment, 1900–1960. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, 140–64.
Huizinga, Johan. ‘Play-Forms in Art’, in Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949.
Klein, Yves. ‘Immaterial Dwellings, in Yves Klein: Air Architecture. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2004.
Klein, Yves and Werner Ruhnau, ‘Project of an Air Architecture’, in Yves Klein: Air Architecture. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2004.
Lupton, Ellen and Abbott Miller to their The Kitchen, the Bathroom, and the Aesthetics of Waste: A Process of Elimination. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992.
Sloterdijk, Peter. ‘Cell Block, Egospheres, Self-container’, Log: Observations and the Contemporary City, no.10 (Summer/ Fall 2007).
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.