ACC Lectures 2022 | 1. Barnabas Calder | 10.03.2022

Form Follows Fuel: Building our way into (and out of?) climate emergency

Architecture is responsible for 39% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If we can’t reduce this to zero over the coming years we face planetary catastrophe.

This lecture will explore the history of architecture’s profound entanglement with energy use, from ancient hunter gatherer homes, through the great monuments of antiquity and on to the disastrous fossil-fuel dependency of the present.

At the moment the sustainable past feels like a reproach to contemporary architecture and construction, but Calder will argue that it could instead become an inspiration and information library for a new and wonderful zero carbon architecture.


Barnabas Calder is the author of Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency (Pelican, 2021), and head of the Architectural and Urban History Group at the University of Liverpool.

Twitter/Instagram: @BarnabasCalder

lecture recording

10 march 2022 – 1 p.m. CET