November 13, 2022
Tropical Modernism: Climate & Design
8:30am – 12:00pm
Why does architecture look the way it does? What drives design decisions?
Moderator Morris Hylton III will lead our symposium participants in examining these central questions. Hylton’s own work focuses on adaptive strategies for historic properties as they are increasingly challenged by climate change and thus offers important insight into design practices and their viability in a changing world. Dr. Daniel Barber’s talk on thermal practices will look at architecture in the tropics before and after the arrival of air conditioning, with examples from Brazil, Puerto Rico, Florida and West Africa. Dr. Vandana Baweja will explore the ways in which vernacular architecture was appropriated by colonial powers to establish the ideals of tropical modernist architecture. Robert Rubin will share his tale of rescuing Jean Prouvé’s Maison Tropicale from the Brazzaville jungle to establishing its current home in Paris at the Centre Pompidou. Dr. Sonia Chao will chronicle the long-established design conversation between Florida and Cuba, with special focus on Arthur Browning Parker, Nicolas Quintana, Mario Romañach and Paul Rudolph. Dr. Christopher Wilson will demonstrate how our own Sarasota School of Architecture practitioners embodied a form of critical regional tropical modernism that went on to span the globe. Throughout all of the talks, we’ll see a wide range of “tropical modernisms,” and learn more about how humans have lived and adapted to the challenges of living in the “torrid zone.”
Speakers: Daniel A. Barber, Vandana Baweja, Sonia Chao, Robert Rubin, Christopher Wilson
Moderator: Morris Hylton III
Symposium – Not-yet Member $50; Member $40