A collaboration between The University of Manchester, Edinburgh University, Essex University, Lancaster University and Leeds University with Fellowships based at Cardiff University, Queens University Belfast and The University of Salford
An exhibition and workshop (4th & 21st Nov 2011) about the past, present and future of room temperature and the costs, risks and implications for business and policy.
'Cool' interview >> an audio interview with Sam Brown and Elizabeth Shove
Where is air conditioning being installed and why? >> a set of photographs and interview quotes from our research to date
Institutions have policies against air conditioning so why is it spreading? >> powerpoint slides showing some key emerging themes
The cooling of occupied spaces is already a significant burden on energy consumption and carbon emissions and is set to grow unless there are changes in how households seek ‘comfort’. There is the real prospect of ‘cool poverty’ and health-related problems as people contend with warmer climatic conditions for which the UK built environment was simply not designed. This project will investigate how expectations and practices of keeping cool or being comfortably warm are evolving, how they are being shaped and realised through the promotion of technologies (broadly defined) and lifestyles, the development of new infrastructures, and the reformulation of habits and routines in the UK.
It will examine:
- the variety of spaces that people occupy (private and public, home, workplace, retail, leisure, transport);
- how technologies and infrastructures of cooling (passive and energy consuming) are being promoted and applied;
- the expectations and desires that people have in relation to thermal comfort.
The project consists of a series of strategic linked studies in homes, workplaces and hotels, to reveal the changing ‘geometry’ of infrastructure, expectation and demand. It will employ documentary sources, focus groups and observation and interviews at ‘hot-spots’.
Co-Investigator: Gordon Walker
Co-Investigator: Elizabeth Shove
Research Associate: Sam Brown