Time and Place

Time: 5:00pm (Central)
Location: Architecture and Urban Planning Room 110 – UWM Campus – 2131 E Hartford Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211

Urban Edge Award Lecture

When Modern was Solar presentation by Daniel A. Barber, Professor and Head of School Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney


University of Technology Sydney

Lecture Summary:

In April 2022 the IPCC described the inadequacies of “sustainable” architecture: “in most regions,” it indicates, “historical improvements in efficiency have been approximately matched by growth in floor area per capita.” Today’s challenge is to shift the discussion of architecture’s climate engagement away from efficiency and toward thinking about how buildings can be part of a broader transformation in demand management. This presentation will explore how the waves of modernism that crested over the Midwest in the 1950s brought with them an interest in solar energy – and a focus, not on efficiency, but on sufficient modes of building and living.


Daniel A. Barber is Professor and Head of School Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney. He holds a PhD in Architecture (History and Theory) from Columbia University, and a Master of Environmental Design from Yale University. His research and teaching explore the history and future of architecture’s engagement with the environment. His most recent book is Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning (Princeton, 2020), following A House in the Sun: Modern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War (Oxford, 2016); his article “After Comfort” (Log 47, 2019) has been translated into four languages. Daniel has held fellowships at Harvard University, Princeton University, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His current research on architecture and sufficiency is supported by a fellowship at the Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies at the Universität Heidelberg, the British Academy, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Since 2016, Daniel has been the editor of “Accumulation” on e-flux architecture, commissioning essays at the intersection of media, architecture, and climate change. He is also co-editor of a special issue of Future Anterior (2022) and a special issue of The Journal of Architecture (2016), co-edits the new series “After Comfort: A User’s Guide” on e-flux architecture.

Questions, comments?

All lectures are free and open to planners, students, staff, faculty, and friends of the University. Please contact Karl Wallick, Department of Architecture