Already number TEN, Pressing Matters X is a special issue reflecting a year of reflection and change, after several waves of the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and newly developed hybrid teaching methods. It follows last year’s Pressing Matters 9 that was completely rethought with the aim to present an Open-Source publication that shares the Department of Architecture’s concept of design-research, an integral approach of critical thinking, rigorous research, and design, representing a deep understanding of the complex layers of architecture.

Pressing Matters 9

Looking back, this was a special and difficult year, a year in which we taught half of the spring semester online due to COVID-19, and we were challenged to change the way we think, operate, and communicate. It was also a year in which we learned valuable lessons and often got closer to each other.

Ali Rahim, professor of architecture and director of the MSD-AAD program, and Hina Jamelle, senior lecturer in architecture and director of urban housing, take on the theme of Impact in the September 2020 issue of Architectural Design (Volume 90, Issue 5).

Under Pressure: Essays on Urban Housing (Routledge, 2021), edited by Hina Jamelle, senior lecturer and director of urban housing in the Department of Architecture, gathers and contextualizes recent conversations on urban housing through a design lens.

Table of diagrams of housing types

Basic information of housing types on Chongming Island

Miaomiao Hou and William W. Braham

Cover image for Positive Energy podcase

Positive Energy built its reputation and business on offering high performance MEP engineering services to the residential architecture market with a focus on health, comfort, and decarbonizing. And now we also offer even more accessible consulting for projects in the concept phase of design. We help architects map out passive, resilient, and active systems when the design process is fluid. Based in Austin, Texas we work locally & nationally in partnership with architects, contractors, & owners to help the AEC industry look where its going, rather than where it’s been. We are guided by building science principles and a deeply held ethos that buildings should help human beings thrive.

A podcast by Positive Energy with William Braham, Director CEBD and Miaomiao Hou, Visiting Scholar from Tongji University

The famous astronomer and educator Carl Sagan once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe.” What Sagan was pointing at is the fact that for us to really do anything from scratch, we have to understand the system in which we exist.

Award for best paper

Building and Environment best paper award 2021. Selected 3 articles our of 4,500.

Since the 1990s, the population of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia has nearly tripled. Unfortunately, due to a lack of conventional housing infrastructure in the city center, many new arrivals to Ulaanbaatar live in ger (also called “yurt” in Russian, lightweight, easy-to-assemble, tent-like dwellings traditionally used by nomads living a pastoral lifestyle) as permanent, fixed-location homes.

Thermal image of a room with measurement instruments, ray tracing diagram, and color gradient maps

Dorit Aviv, Julie Gros, Hayder Alsaad, Eric Teitelbaum, Conrad Voelker, Jovan Pantelic, Forrest Meggers

diagram showing progress from chimney to liquid module encapsulated by transparent membrane

Dorit Aviv, Zherui Wang, Forrest Meggers, Aletheia Ida

In this excerpt of Strange Objects, New Solids and Massive Things: Archi-Tectonics (Actar Publishers, 2021), Winka Dubbeldam, Weitzman's Miller Professor and chair of architecture, details the creation of Inscape Wellness.