Last week, during the peak of the brutal heat wave that baked much of the western U.S., the coolest place in my San Francisco apartment was the floor in my housemate’s bedroom. So that is where I sat and worked and even napped when I couldn’t take the heat anymore. The skyscrapers and houses of San Francisco, like buildings in many cities around the world, are simply not designed to handle hot days. This idea of a mismatch between architecture and climate is the topic of this week’s episode of The Conversation Weekly, a podcast that I co-host and which returns today after taking a summer break.

The episode explores how 20th century Western styles of architecture that rely on concrete and glass spread around the world, and in doing so, usurped local building techniques that are better suited to hotter climates. My co-host, Gemma Ware, and I spoke with researchers from Nigeria, Iraq and the U.S. about what makes for a well-designed building, and how some architects are starting to use ancient building principles to stay cool.

You can listen by following The Conversation Weekly on Apple Podcasts or Spotify for new episodes every Thursday, or find other ways to listen here.

Tomorrow, we’ll be releasing our weekly news quiz. If you’d like to receive an email alert when it’s available Friday morning, please sign up here. If you were unable to sign up last weekend because of a technical glitch, we apologize and would appreciate if you would try again.

Also today:

Daniel Merino

Assistant Science Editor & Co-Host of The Conversation Weekly Podcast

Windcatchers in Iran use natural air flow to keep buildings cool. Andrzej Lisowski Travel/Shutterstock

Keep buildings cool as it gets hotter by resurrecting traditional architectural techniques – podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

Follow The Conversation Weekly podcast for new episodes every Thursday.

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