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The Architecture of Closed Worlds; or, What is the Power of Shit?


Published by Lars Müller Publishers and Storefront for Art and Architecture, the book by Lydia Kallipoliti accompanied an eponymous exhibition surveying 37 brilliant and unusual prototypes for self-sustaining physical environments, including those from Buckminster Fuller, Jacques Cousteau and Walt Disney.

From the space program to countercultural architectural groups experimenting with autonomous living, The Architecture of Closed Worlds documents a disciplinary transformation and the rise of a new environmental consensus in the form of a synthetic naturalism. It presents an archive of 37 historical living prototypes from 1928 to the present that put forth an unexplored genealogy of closed resource regeneration systems.

In The Architecture of Closed Worlds prototypes are presented through unique discursive narratives with historical images. Each includes new analysis in the form of a feedback drawing that problematizes the language of environmental representation by illustrating loss, derailment, and the production of new substances and atmospheres.

Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar. She holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from A.U.Th in Greece, a SMArchS in design and building technology from M.I.T, as well as a Master of Arts and a PhD from Princeton University.  Prior to teaching at RPI, Kallipoliti was an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University and an Assistant Professor Adjunct at Columbia University [GSAPP] and at the Cooper Union, where she also served as a Senior Associate at the Institute for Sustainable Design, and as the Feltman Chair in Lighting leading an off-grid lighting installation for New Museum’s Ideas City Festival and the World Science Festival in New York.  Her research focuses on the intersections of architecture, technology and environmental politics and more particularly on recycling material experiments, theories of waste and reuse, as well as closed and self-reliant systems and urban environments.

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