Architecture for a More Extreme Future: Learning from the Vernacular

Case studies from Australia, Antarctica, the hot deserts of the Middle East, the tents of Mongolia and settlements of Himalayan Nepal will show how sophisticated lessons on climatic design can help architects design for the more extreme climates of the future. Many modern buildings rely heavily on mechanical heating and cooling to remain habitable but evermore extreme weather events like heat waves and wind storms often lead to power outages leaving occupants at risk. Climate change is being driven by emissions from buildings and we are now moving to the next age of design where the solution to keeping people thermally safe in buildings relies not on machines but on the quality of the climatic design of the building itself. We need a new vernacular for the 21st century and where to gain inspiration for it than from the extraordinary buildings of the past.

Speaker - Emeritus Professor Susan Roaf








Sue Roaf (B.A.Hons, A.A. Dipl., PhD, ARB, FRIAS) is Emeritus Professor of Architectural Engineering at Heriot Watt University and is an award winning architect, author and teacher. Her Phd was on the Windcatchers of Yazd, and she is known best known for her pioneering work on domestic solar energy and eco-design. She was an Oxford City Councillor for 7 years and sat on the Architects Registration Board. Subjects covered in her 22 books include Ecohouse design, Adapting Buildings and Cities for Climate Change and Adaptive Thermal Comfort. She has chaired many international conferences and recently chaired CATE 2022 in on Comfort, COVID, Climate Change and Ventilation ( and in 2023 on Measuring Net Zero. She is currently working in Antarctica on the extreme design for cold climates.

About ADP Talks

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning is proud to present our new lecture series, ADP Talks.

ADP Talks is the opportunity for us to connect students, alumni and industry professionals together on a variety of topics through engaging presentations and discussions. To find out more and register for a session please click into the session details. 

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Hawken Engineering Building, UQ St Lucia & via Zoom