Unit 3 | (DIS)COMFORT

Michael Holms Coats, Lee Jesson and Oliver Watson

How can we define and then create an architecture of comfort – if comfort is personal or statistical or a standard that is set by someone else? Often it has more to do with the particular user(s) than the particular space: a chair is never as comfortable as when you’ve been standing up all day. This year Unit 3 is looking at this quality – sometimes more easily categorised by its opposite, discomfort, and always dependent on context. As the current context of the climate change emergency is uppermost in our thinking, we are keen to investigate how comfort/discomfort can assist to make an architecture fit for now and alert to the future.

The brief for Unit 3 this year, (DIS)COMFORT, started with an exploration of everyday personal experiences of comfort and discomfort, and moved swiftly on to considering a range of response types and ‘other spaces’ in the built environment. By using speculative design to nurture climate literacy for architects, students’ final projects reveal individual insights on creative responses to the climate crisis and how comfortable building performance, matching net zero carbon emission targets, is achievable.

Header image credit: Joe Webb, Here Comes The Sun (2013)

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