Lydia Kallipoliti

Closed Worlds and the Strange Premise of Circular Causality 
Wednesday, March 13, 6:00 p.m.
LeRoy Neiman Center
37 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL
United States

Lydia Kallipoliti 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, currently an Assistant Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Master of Science program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from AUTh in Greece, a SMArchS from MIT, and a PhD from Princeton University.

Kallipoliti is the founder of EcoRedux, an innovative online open–source educational resource and ANAcycle thinktank, a research and writing practice. She is the editor of a special issue of Architectural Design in 2011, and the author of the book The Architecture of Closed Worlds, Or, What is the Power of Shit (Lars Muller, 2018), as well as the History of Ecological Design for Oxford English Encyclopedia of Environmental Science.

Her work has been exhibited in a number of international venues including the Venice Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Shenzhen Biennial, the Royal Academy of British Architects, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Kallipoliti is the recipient of an honor at the 14 Webby Awards, grants from the Graham Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts, an Honorable Mention at the Shenzhen Biennial, a Fulbright scholarship, and the ACSA annual award for Creative Achievement. Prior to RPI, she has taught at Columbia University GSAPP, Pratt Institute, Syracuse University, and the Cooper Union.