The American Midwest


This project explores tectonic responses to economic and environmental change in the American Midwest. It’s part of a series of “Architectures of Diminished Expectation” that we’ve developed.


“Before fossil-fuel powered air-conditioning became widely available, people living in harsh climates had nothing but natural means to ventilate their spaces and control the interior temperature.”
– Dima Stouhi, ArchDaily


The windCatcher addresses increasing desertification of populated areas. This new form of single-family home features wind and light catching towers, a large surface-area thermal mass, evaporative cooling ponds, and many other passive environmental control features that can reliably tune the interior environment in the face of a rapidly changing outside world.

Architect: Specht Harpman

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