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Air, the largest component of a work of architecture, has a robust historiography. Since it was rendered material through experiments in the laboratory, air has become the subject of representation and measurement techniques. Soon thereafter air space was defined as place through its classification as a legal domain—a fact rendered more complex by the age of space exploration and later the drone. The conditioning of air has further transformed the nature of inhabitable space. Atmosphere itself has become a fruitful arena for architectural design. Air, in short, is a dynamic phenomenon.
This afternoon symposium will address air as a modernizing force. It will bring together the work of scholars at the interdisciplinary interstices of the histories of architecture, science and technology for a discussion of how architecture was an instrument in the reconceptualization of the invisible.