Richard Ingersoll, Politecnico di Milano, Syracuse University in Florence
As the author of a comprehensive history of architecture that attempts to put all cultures on the same level (World Architecture. A Cross-Cultural History, Oxford University Press, 2013, co-author Spiro Kostof), I would like to propose how designers have learned from different cultures and project this interpretation into the near future, which many experts already refer to as the Age of Climate Change. As the pace of global warming increases, so the professions dealing with the primary needs of shelter must adapt. The designers of the built environment, which conventionally is accused of causing 40% of the problem, must necessarily shift to cooling strategies or indeed lose their credibility. But the patronage groups—governmental, corporate, institutional—must also be brought to account, and for this a media revolution is in order. Although the impulse to return to the past or to indulge in to the lifestyles of vernacular cultures is not without its merits and may help in forming new mentalities, cool architecture must resist the dead end of nostalgia and, like all great architecture, work through analogical processes.