Cooked Air

The Kitchen and its Exhalate


  • Elizabeth Galvez University of Michigan



Since 1996, ASHRAE Standard 62.2 has provided guidelines for residential ventilation. As ventilation becomes increasingly scientised, quantifiable, and reliant on hyper-specific equipment, technical literacy on ventilation has narrowed. The relationship between architecture, inhabitants and air management has become increasingly reliant on ventilation standards, in turn increasing reliance on technical specialists, and creating a gap in ventilation knowledge. Through an examination of ASHRAE Standard 62.2, this essay asks why is it that, as ventilation processes become increasingly measurable, there is an equal tendency to reverse awareness in relation to the human sensation, when the standard itself underlines the reality of both phenomenal and intellectual knowledge towards air quality assessment. Furthermore, if architecture’s domain centres on formal, aesthetic, and material logics, is an expanded literacy on air management necessary to address mechanical equipment within an architectural domain?

Author Biography

Elizabeth Galvez, University of Michigan

Liz Gálvez is a Mexican-American educator and a registered architect. She is a visiting critic at the Rice School of Architecture and directs Office (e.g.), a practice interested in examples of possible architectures. Her work focuses on the interface between architecture, theory and environmentalism. Gálvez received her Master of Architecture with a concentration in History Theory and Criticism from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. She has taught at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College, where she was the 2018–19 William Muschenheim Fellow. She has practiced at various award-winning firms in the United States and in Mexico, including Will Bruder Architects, NADAAA and Rojkind Arquitectos. Gálvez’s writing has been published in PLAT, Footprint, and Pidgin (forthcoming). Her work has been exhibited at MIT, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, The University of Michigan, and at the Space p11 Gallery in Chicago.


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