Land Air Sea

Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Era


Land Air Sea: Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Era positions the long Renaissance and eighteenth century as being vital for understanding how many of the concerns present in contemporary debates on climate change and sustainability originated in earlier centuries. Traversing three physical and intellectual domains, Land Air Sea consists of case studies examining how questions of environmentalism were formulated in early modern architecture and the built environment. Addressing emergent technologies, indigenous cultural beliefs, natural philosophy, and political statecraft, this book aims to recast our modernist conceptions of what buildings are by uncovering early modern epistemologies that redefined human impact on the habitable world.

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Jennifer Ferng is Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Sydney. Her recent books include Crafting Enlightenment: Artisanal Histories and Transnational Networks (2021) and Drawing Climate: Visualising Invisible Elements of Architecture (2021). She received her Ph.D. from MIT.   

      Lauren Jacobi was Associate Professor in the History, Theory and Criticism division of the Department of Architecture at MIT. Her first book is The Architecture of Banking in Renaissance Italy (2019). She is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Yale University.
List of Figures
Notes on the Editors
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Climatic Effects—Environmental Genealogies before Contemporary Crisis
Jennifer Ferng and Lauren Jacobi

Part 1: Land

1 Land, War, and Castles: The Management of Landed Wealth
Katie Jakobiec

2 The Paradoxical Colosseum: A Mesocosm for Early Modern Rome
Kristi Cheramie and Robert John Clines

3 Flood Mitigation, Territory, and Time: Girolamo di Pace da Prato in Early Ducal Florence
Caroline E. Murphy

Part 2: Air

4 Sleeping under the Hazardous Dome of the Sky
An Intertextual Study of Representation of Corporeality in Seventeenth Century Architecture and Poetry of Safavid Isfahan
Mahroo Moosavi

5 Forced Air: Artificial Power and Environmental Control in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Aleksandr Bierig

6 Cosmogenic Histories: Aboriginal Observations on Catastrophe and Climate
Jennifer Ferng

Part 3: Sea

7 Left on Shore: Iron and Fish in the North Atlantic
Christy Anderson

8 Sea Levelling: Britain’s Early Modern Port Infrastructure as Environmental Context
William M. Taylor


Scholars and postgraduate students interested in architectural history and the environmental humanities, readers interested in histories of the early modern era more generally. Keywords: Architecture, Renaissance, eighteenth century, environment, environmental history, early modern era, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, indigenous history, Iran, Italy, land, air, sea.
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