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Solar 'Affordances' – Research and Observation Retrospective

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Passive solar architecture, with some active assistance, will be viewed through the lens of James J Gibson’s theory of ‘affordances’, 1977, Jay Appleton’s ‘prospect-refuge’ theory, 1975, Aldo van Eyck’s ‘reciprocity’, 1961-62, and ‘in-between’, 1959, and Alvar Aalto’s ‘From Doorstep to Living Room’, 1926. All four theoretical strands will inform commentary on the use of sun-traps, sun-buffers, sun-diodes and sun- collectors in a range of domestic and non-domestic projects; this leading to a discussion of the key ‘comfort’ and ‘well-being’ issues for occupants of low-, zero-, and plus-energy buildings and their carbon footprints. Tensions between technology and human frailty will be raised, for example in relation to indoor air quality and sensory satisfaction. The presentation will conclude on the issue of emphasis regarding new-build and retrofit models and the alignment of, rather than competition between, ‘passive-solar’ and ‘passiv-haus’ solutions.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series series.

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