"Of the Air"

A symposium organized by Hadas Steiner, University at Buffalo, Department of Architecture

Boyle air life photo sketch

Wednesday, November 1
2 pm - 6 pm
Hayes Hall 403
AIA continuing education credits - 3 LU

“Buildings are mostly air,’ says the engineer, quoting the great Perronet. ‘Air and empty space…”
        -   Andrew Miller, Pure (2012)

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.


Megan Eardley (Princeton University)

Megan Eardley, a PhD candidate at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, has previously presented on subjects such as church infrastructure in Southern Africa for Princeton's African History Workshop. She mainly studies modern Christian missions and the contracting industry in Southern Africa.

Edward Eigen (Graduate School of Design, Harvard)

Edward Eigen is Associate Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is a scholar whose work focuses on the intersection of the human and natural sciences. He is currently preparing to publish An Anomalous Plan, which discusses the development of laboratory spaces in nineteenth-century France. He received fellowships from CASVA and the Dibner Institute. In 2009 he organized a conference at the Princeton University School of Architecture entitled “On Accident,” which will appear as an edited volume.

Enrique Ramirez (Ball State)

Enrique Ramirez teaches courses in modern and contemporary architectural history and architectural design. He has lectured widely and his writings, which cover a wide variety of topics, have appeared in publications like The Avery Review, The Journal of Architecture (UK), Manifest: A Journal of American Architecture and UrbanismPerspecta: The Yale Architectural JournalThresholds,AA FilesQuadernsMateriaPlaces Journal and Pidgin Magazine. Enrique brings his former experiences as a lawyer and entertainment industry veteran to bear on his research, which considers diverse topics such as legal history and cinematic representations of landscapes.

Hadas Steiner

Hadas Steiner is an associate professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo.

Hadas Steiner (UB)

Associate Professor Hadas A. Steiner received a Ph.D. in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Masters degree in Art History from University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Art in Architecture from Columbia University. Her research concentrates on the cross-pollinations of technological, scientific and cultural aspects of architectural fabrication in the postwar period. Steiner is the author of Beyond Archigram: The Technology of Circulation (Routledge) and her scholarship and reviews have been published in OCTOBERGrey RoomJournal of the Society of Architectural HistoriansJournal of Architectural EducationJournal of Architecture and arq