Modern Architecture, Planetary Warming, Environmental Decline

Why the talk is inspiring?

Modern architecture is inseparably linked with the Industrial Revolution. Industrially manufactured materials such as iron, steel, reinforced concrete, glass, asbestos, and later also plastics have helped to make architecture modern.

The Industrial Revolution also set planetary warming in motion, led to a large-scale resource depletion, and caused an unprecedented environmental decline. Not only in Europe, but also in the large parts of the world that were colonized by European states. The lecture offers ‘a rough sketch for a proposed book’, to allude to the descriptive title Ray and Charles Eames gave to their first version of ‘Powers of Ten’. This rough sketch explores the intersection of architecture, environment, and climate since 1800.



Hans Ibelings

How the speaker is exceptional?

Hans Ibelings is a Dutch architectural historian and critic. Before moving to Canada he was the editor of A10 new European architecture. He teaches at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design of the University of Toronto, and is the publisher and editor of the Architecture Observer. Later this year he will publish Modern Architecture: A Planetary Warming History.


The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

Amitav Ghosh

Why the book is worth reading?

Published six years ago, it is still a poignant analysis of how human imagination struggles to address the climate and environmental emergencies. Ghosh discusses literature, history, and politics, but his arguments are applicable to virtually every field, discipline and profession, including those of architecture and urban planning.

(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016)