Course developed and taught in the architecture program at the University of San Diego in Spring ‘20.

In this course we will scrutinize the ordinariness of architecture’s atmospheres. Architecture is typically thought in terms of stable, hard, and formal boundaries and masses. This course will instead consider seriously how architecture variously occupies, contains, and produces atmospheres. We will come in deliberate contact with atmospheric matter such as dust, aerosols, smog, miasma, smoke, haze, debris, and pollen via architecture and its inhabitants to construct a sense of architecture’s atmospheres. With this as a frame we will enter historic and contemporary discussions surrounding air pollution, urban sensing technology, indoor and outdoor air quality, climate models, and mood, as matters of architectural concern. These concerns will be framed in terms of mediations— processes of materially altering interaction and communication between various entities. Yoked together, architecture’s atmospheres of mediation will help us develop a vocabulary and set of methods to engage in atmospheric debates in ways that typically evade architectural representation or measure. This will lead us to pay closer attention to everyday social and cultural practices mediated by architecture, and their ideological bases. This course will gather scholarship from Architectural History and Theory, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and Communication & Media Studies.