M+M Program in Media and Modernity presents
“The Curious Case of Closed Worlds”
Interlocutor: Sylvia Lavin
Monday, October 19, 2020 @5pm EST
Online Event [register here or stream here]
This talk will explore a genealogy of contained microcosms with the ambition to replicate the earth in its totality; a series of living experiments that forge a synthetic naturalism, where the laws of nature and metabolism are displaced from the domain of wilderness to the domain of cities and buildings. Beyond technical concerns, closed worlds distill architectural concerns related to habitation: first, an integrated structure where humans, their physiology of ingestion and excretion, become combustion devices, tied to the system with umbilical cords; second, closed worlds are giant stomachs; they are inhabitable machines that digest resources and are sometimes disobedient; at times they digest, while at other times they vomit.
Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer, and scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of architecture, technology, and environmental politics. She is an Assistant Professor at the Cooper Union in New York. She has also taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she directed the Master of Science Program, at Syracuse University, Columbia University [GSAPP], and Pratt Institute; she was also a visiting fellow at the University of Queensland and a visiting professor at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. She is the author of the awarded book The Architecture of Closed Worlds, Or, What is the Power of Shit (Lars Muller Publishers, 2018) and Head Co-Curator of the upcoming Tallinn Architecture Biennale in 2022.
Sylvia Lavin is Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University.