Energy & Sustainability

Javier García-Germán is Associate Professor of Architectural Design at the ETSAM (since 2007), where he has been director of the Energy and Sustainability module in the Master’s Degree in Collective Housing and is currently director of Ecological Urbanism module in the Master in City Sciences. He studied architecture at the ETSAM (Honors), the Oxford School of Architecture and at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (master in Design Studies), where he was Fulbright Scholar. He received his Ph.D. in architecture —Thermodynamic Environments. A Critical Cartography on Energy, Architecture and Atmosphere— in ETSAM (2014). In 2005 he founded TAAs —totem arquitectos asociados— an award-winning practice based in Madrid which explores the connections between climate, architecture and users. In addition García-Germán has authored several articles in international periodicals and edited several books on energy and architecture, among others Thermodynamic Interactions. An Architectural Exploration into Physiological, Material and Territorial Atmospheres (2015, ACTAR), De lo Mecánico a lo Termodinámico (2010, Gustavo Gili) and Contextos 2008. Hacia un Nuevo Entorno Energético (2008, UCJC).

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Javier García-Germán MCH Experience

  • Specialty Leader MCH'2017 and MCH'2018. Energy & Sustainability

Javier García-Germán Specialty Leader 2018

"Energy & Sustainability"

Specialty Leader: Javier García-Germán

MCH Specialty Length: 9 days






The module THERMODYNAMIC DESIGN STRATEGIES explores the design opportunities which the field of thermodynamics and ecology is opening to architecture, and specifically to the field of collective housing. From a practical and project-oriented stand point, the module focuses on connecting thermodynamics and ecology to architecture with the objective of finding potential design strategies which bridge the void between quantitative and qualitative approaches. Contrary to current energy approaches to architecture which are based on quantitative analysis, the module bridges the gulf between energy and architecture, exploring those disciplinary parameters —such as spatial and material structure, program or perception— which are specifically connected to its material and atmospheric performativity.


The module is formed by a seminar and a workshop which, mediating between the technical and the cultural aspects of architecture, make explicit a hands-on approach which is focused on propelling design strategies and on its implementation on real practice.


The module starts with a seminar which introduces the ideas and concepts underlying a thermodynamic approach to architecture. The seminar focuses on three fields of enquiry: the first part explores the metabolic-logistical dimension of architecture, the second part the atmospheric-climatic approach to architecture, and the third topic unpacks the durability and adaptation of building usage in time. After these ideas have been assimilated, the module will continue with a collective housing design project to test how the theoretical ideas can be implemented.

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