Tropical architecture developed in the nineteenth century as a global discourse across the networks of the British, French, and Dutch empires. Each node that became a site of tropical architecture had a distinct trajectory and areas of emphasis, yet climatic design unifies the diverse histories of these sites. The multiple discourses that have defined tropical architecture as a field developed diachronically through numerous disciplinary terrains, including medicine, sanitation, meteorology, civil engineering, architecture, and environmental design.

In A Genealogy of Tropical Architecture, Jiat-Hwee Chang builds upon scholarship inaugurated by Mark Crinson, Hannah le Roux, and Ola Uduku, who first revealed tropical architecture to be a neocolonial discourse that developed after World War II and operated within asymmetrical power relationships.1 Chang examines tropical architecture from the vantage point of Singapore, producing a highly granulated history that shows how unequal power relationships were spatialized through regimes of technoscientific knowledge. This scholarly...

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