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Thermal Tectonics for the Next Billion People

A journal for a seminar of the same name at the Harvard Graduate School of Design

Suggested Projects

Suggested Projects

The lectures suggest a number of possible projects. Here are some ideas
Thermal Sensation, or Why Room Temperature Isn't That Simple

Thermal Sensation, or Why Room Temperature Isn't That Simple

We don't sense temperature, but heat fluxes, which come in different forms. And what we do and how we remember matters too.
How to Select Materials and Design New Ones

How to Select Materials and Design New Ones

Without Michael Ashby's methods, you won't see all the materials you have to choose from, or the best possible combinations.
How to Use Air as an Insulator or a Conveyor Belt for Heat

How to Use Air as an Insulator or a Conveyor Belt for Heat

Air is an excellent insulator, so long as it stays still. Having it move can be useful also. Dynamic insulation, anyone?
How to Ventilate a Building Using Waste Heat from Occupants and Their Devices

How to Ventilate a Building Using Waste Heat from Occupants and Their Devices

When you need it most, the wind may not be available. Not so with buoyancy ventilation. More occupants mean more power to drive the flow.
How to Simulate a Building in a Water Bath, and Other Experimental Methods

How to Simulate a Building in a Water Bath, and Other Experimental Methods

For all the insight that computer power can bring, there are certain things that are best answered by real-world measurement and analogy.
How to Design a Building Envelope So It Works as a Heat-Exchanger

How to Design a Building Envelope So It Works as a Heat-Exchanger

To exploit low-grade heat, and use less fossil-fuels, we should design building envelopes like we design heat-exchangers.
How to Tune a Massive Building for Thermal Resonance

How to Tune a Massive Building for Thermal Resonance

Things that vary periodically can also resonate. We don't want wobbly bridges, but amplifying thermal oscillations for free is a good idea.
How to Sculpt a Surface So Your Wall Stores More Heat

How to Sculpt a Surface So Your Wall Stores More Heat

Engineers have always said "increase the surface of your thermal mass". But never by how much, or at what scale. Until now.
How to Sculpt a Surface So Your Wall Stores More Heat

How to Sculpt a Surface So Your Wall Stores More Heat

Engineers have always said "increase the surface of your thermal mass". But never by how much, or at what scale. Until now.
Radiative Cooling to Outer Space, or How to Make Ice in the Desert

Radiative Cooling to Outer Space, or How to Make Ice in the Desert

In regions where the greenhouse effect is weak, exchanging heat with the blackbody universe might be the best thing for cooling buildings.
Abu Dhabi Dew Drops, or How to Make a Self-Irrigating Wind Tower

Abu Dhabi Dew Drops, or How to Make a Self-Irrigating Wind Tower

On desert coasts, flora and fauna drink dewfall, while evaporation downdraft towers use desalinated water. The missing link? Form.
The Social Network of Construction, or How to Spread Your Idea in The Commons

The Social Network of Construction, or How to Spread Your Idea in The Commons

Reduce economic and ecological costs by inventing versatile combinations of standard materials. It's smart geometry, dumb materials, folks.
Green High-Tech and Some Things it Left Behind

Green High-Tech and Some Things it Left Behind

Review: Last Futures, D. Murphy; A House in the Sun, D. Barber; Spaceship in the Desert, G. Günel.
On the Forces That Shape Trees, or How to Steal Order from the Molecular Storm

On the Forces That Shape Trees, or How to Steal Order from the Molecular Storm

Avant-garde thermodynamics has a lot to say about Form. The jury is still out, but it's time to stop bean-counting, and start flow-tapping.
Things Do Things Somewhere, or Material Reality Insofar as It Can Be Measured

Things Do Things Somewhere, or Material Reality Insofar as It Can Be Measured

Simple or complex, technologies orchestrate phenomena. We can only change certain aspects. Knowing this makes new ideas easier to come by.
Some Ways to Contribute to Climate Research

Some Ways to Contribute to Climate Research

Climate research can ask how the climate influences the habitability of regions. Design research can ask where to build, what, and how.
Some Things You Should Know about Heat

Some Things You Should Know about Heat

Heat permeates our lives, and without it, we may not have any record of the passing of time. Get a designer's intuition for it here.
How to PubPub

How to PubPub

This pub provides a quick how-to for some of the basics in PubPub.