Lydia Kallipoliti: "An Unfinished Cyclopedia; Histories of Ecological Design" [res. Sylvia Lavin]

Apr 23, 2024, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
N107 (SoA)


Event Description

Graduate Program in Media + Modernity | Princeton University


Lydia Kallipoliti

“An Unfinished Cyclopedia; Histories of Ecological Design”

[Response: Sylvia Lavin]

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 @5pm ET

N107 (School of Architecture)


Histories of Ecological Design; An Unfinished Cyclopedia presents conflicting definitions and concepts of architects and designers and the parallel histories of their intellectual positions toward environmental thought from the 19th century to today. In 21 chapters and 3 periods [ I. NATURALISM, II. SYNTHETIC NATURALISM, III. DARK NATURALISM], the context is not exclusively examined chronologically, but also in connected worldviews, each rendering evolving perceptions of nature, its relation to culture, and the occupation of the planet by human and non-human subjects.

Throughout the book, there is an acknowledgement and a critique that ecological histories reflect, in one way or another, hierarchical modalities of domination; ones that are bent on controlling knowledge and shaping the physical and material world into ontological and scientific worldviews. Architects, designers, and thinkers have long been complicit in the hubris of the position that humans are the caretakers of the planet and that the self -- as a distinct individual entity-- possesses a sublime power to analyze the world, devise hierarchies, and construct ideological cosmologies that become norms.


Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer, and scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of architecture, technology, and environmental politics. She is an Associate Professor at the Cooper Union in New York and the author of The Architecture of Closed Worlds (2018) and Histories of Ecological Design (2024). Kallipoliti is the principal of ANAcycle research thinktank and Head Co-Curator of the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale. She holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from AUTh in Greece, a SMArchS from MIT and a PhD from Princeton University.


Sylvia Lavin is a Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University. Her work explores the limits of architecture across a wide spectrum of historical periods. Her publications include Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic CultureEverything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles and Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths.  She is currently working on a new book about architecture and arboreal infrastructures.