Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071
info@grahamfoundation.org

Exhibition

  • Closed Worlds: The Rise and Fall of Dirty Physiology
    Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York
    Sep 15, 2015
  • GRANTEE
    Lydia Kallipoliti
    GRANT YEAR
    2014

Graham Caine's diagram for the Eco-House, illustrating the cycle of domestic inter-dependencies, in Stefan Szcelkun's Survival Scrapbook,5: Energy, published by Unicorn Bookshop Press in 1975.

This exhibition assembles an unexplored genealogy of closed-resource regeneration systems, which migrated from the space program to countercultural architectural groups experimenting with autonomous living. The project documents a larger disciplinary transformation in the postwar period and the rise of a new environmental consensus in the form of 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 presenting technical concerns, closed regenerative systems distill architectural concerns related to habitation: first an integrated structure where man, his physiology of ingestion and excretion, becomes as a combustion device, part of the system he inhabits. In parallel to the presentation of the historical material, the exhibition explores the resurgence of regenerative systems in architectural imagination, featuring new "digestive machines," which receive human output and converge it to various usable forms.

Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer, and scholar holding a PhD from Princeton University and an SMArchS from MIT. Currently, she is assistant professor at Syracuse University; her research focuses on the intersection of cybernetic and ecological theories. Previously, she taught at Columbia University and the Cooper Union, where she was the Feltman Chair and led an off-grid lighting installation for the New Museum and the World Science Festival. She has also served as senior associate at the Institute for Sustainable Design, leading Rockefeller's Innovation Grant. Kallipoliti is the recipient of numerous awards including those from W3 and the High Meadows Sustainability Fund, as well as a Webby Award. Her design and theoretical work has been published and exhibited internationally. Kallipoliti is the founder of EcoRedux, an innovative online open-source resource documenting the history of ecological experimentation. She is also the curator of the homonymous traveling exhibition and the editor of an issue of Architectural Design magazine.