Fair Conditioning Heat & Indigenous Communities – Fair Conditioning

Heat & Indigenous Communities



Academic Year

2'nd Year

Complexity Level


Content tags

Passive Design Principles


Sustainable Building Design


Vernacular Architecture

Activity Type


Activity duration

< 30 mins


To realize that air conditioning is not the only way to cool modern buildings.


Students will realize that a thorough understanding of heat transfer concepts are essential in cooling buildings thoughtfully with passive cooling methods than active cooling.


Step 1: Initiate a discussion or a session on Vernacular Architecture and Indigenous communities and the wisdom. Certain examples of buildings or residential structures can be taken as examples and used as visual prompts to stir the discussion. Some of the fundamental or suggestive questions can be:

a. How did indigenous communities respond to heat in their buildings right up to the invention of the electric fan and air conditioner? 

b. What are some of the elements that played a role in making the structure thermally comfortable (Passive design elements, for eg. Jaalis, Jharokhas, Height of the room, Vents, coutryards of different sizes, thermal mass and insulation, etc.)

c. Where did we lose this wisdom and where are we in our Architectural Paradigms and pedagogy. 

d. How does it impact socio-culturally and environmentally? Some of the perspectives to see this can be: Does the elements have any role socially or culturally and how has it changed with the changing society now? How much does AC contribute in heating the environment while cooling our spaces?

e. What is the way forward and how should we design buildings?

Step 2: This discussion and activity can be performed by forming small groups within the class. 

Step 3: Post reflection time, list down the points or elements that are coming out in the discussion on the blackboard.

Related Activity Discussions :