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

Monday October 1, 2018

Created in partnership with Lars Müller Publishers. Designed by Pentagram.

Lydia Kallipoliti. The Architecture of Closed Worlds Or, What is the Power of Shit. Published by Lars Muller, 2018.


Buy Now



Lars Muller Publishers, 2018

19.5 × 26.5 cm, 7 ¾ × 10 ¾ in

352 pages, 340 illustrations


ISBN: 978-3-03778-580-5, English


Written by Lydia Kallipoliti in collaboration with Storefront for Art and Architecture.


What do outer space capsules, submarines and office buildings have in common? Each is conceived as a closed system: a self-sustaining physical environment demarcated from its surroundings by a boundary that does not allow for the transfer of matter or energy. The Architecture of Closed Worlds is a genealogy of self-reliant environments. Contemporary discussions about global warming, recycling and sustainability have emerged as direct conceptual constructs related to the study and analysis of closed systems.


From the space program to countercultural architectural groups experimenting with autonomous living, this publication 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.


This book is supported by the Robert S. Brown ’52 Fellows Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Elise Jaffe & Jeffrey Brown and Pentagram Design. It is based on the exhibition Closed Worlds, presented at Storefront’s gallery space in 2016.


The Architecture of Closed Worlds is released in collaboration with Lars Müller Publications and Storefront for Art and Architecture. Read more about the overall project here


Book Design: Pentagram / Natasha Jen     
With afterword essays by: Michelle Addington, Bess Krietemeyer, Mark Wigley
With comments by: Peder Anker, Daniel Barber, Wulf Böer, Christina Ciardullo, Beatriz Colomina, Ross Exo Adams, Mitchell Joachim, Janette Kim & Eric Carver, Caroline Maniaque-Benton, Jonathan Massey, Albert Narath, Theodora Vardouli


OfficeUS Manual

Wednesday November 1, 2017

Created in partnership with Lars Müller Publishers. Designed by Pentagram / Natasha Jen.



Lars Muller Publishers, 2017

16 × 24 cm, 6 ¼ × 9 ½ in

288 pages, 461 illustrations


ISBN: 978-3-03778-439-6, English

Edited by Eva Franch, Ana Miljački, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco,

Jacob Reidel, and Ashley Schafer. 


OfficeUS Manual is a critical, occasionally humorous, and sometimes stupefying guide to the architectural workplace that documents and interrogates the protocols, policies, and procedures of architectural offices. The book is the third publication of the OfficeUS series, which deals with the influence of U.S. architectural practices on a global scale.


OfficeUS Manual contains historical material from large firms and small studios. Additionally, it features contemporary reflections by more than fifty architects, artists, and writers concerned with the needs and desires of professional architecture practices today. It analyzes the methods and practices of architectural firms, examining, in particular, the past one hundred years.


The book is a resource for understanding – and reimagining – the nature and design of an architectural practice. It features original graphic analysis and images from The Architects by Amie Siegel. The publication follows two other books in the series: OfficeUS Agenda, which documents the work of US architectural offices and their global influence over the past one hundred years; and OfficeUS Atlas, a register and press archive of US architectural production abroad.


OfficeUS is a project initiated by Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2014, when the organization was selected to serve as the commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Read more about the OfficeUS project here.




Letters to the Developer

Saturday September 16, 2017

Letters to the Developer, 2017. Photo by Naho Kubota.


In 2016, Storefront launched Letters to the Developer in New York City. As part of this project, a select group of architects, curators, historians, and critics were each asked to write a letter to a New York City-based developer who should be recognized for making a positive contribution to public life. Each letter articulates one exceptional act that the developer has carried out; an act that goes beyond common practice and that participants believe should become part of the norm. 


The letters, as a collection, recognize the great achievements of developers in New York City by presenting a factual representation of the highest possible standards for development. The project aims to raise awareness and recognition of acts that can help inspire better development practices in New York City, and subsequently around the globe. 


This new publication presents a selection of letters along with an extended photographic and data survey that includes new construction sites from the summer of 2017.



Spencer Bailey, Fred A. Bernstein, Phillip G. Bernstein, Eran Chen, Henry Cobb, Todd DeGarmo, Jared Della Valle, Patrice Derrington, Craig Dykers, Iben Falconer, Belmont Freeman, Mark Gardner, Peter Guthrie, Brandon Haw, Laurie Hawkinson, Steven Holl, Frederick Iseman, Daniel Kaplan, Roy Kim, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, William Menking, Enrique Norten, Nat Oppenheimer and Karen Frome, Avani Parikh, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Mark Robbins, Robert Rogers, Tomas Rossant, Bradley Samuels, Eduard Sancho-Pou, Joel Sanders, Annabelle Selldorf, Michael Sorkin, MN Design Professional Corporation, Oana Stanescu and Dong Ping Wong, Margaret Sullivan, Carl Swanson, Thomas Yu, Nader Tehrani, Ada Tolla and Guiseppe Lignano, Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown, Christian Wassmann, Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, James Wines, Adam Yarinsky


Letters to the Developer


Eva Franch i Gilabert

Associate Curator

Carlos Mínguez Carrasco

Project Producer

Max Lauter


Naho Kubota

Graphic Design

Project Projects

Development and Outreach

Jinny Khanduja and Andrew Emmet


Mariam Abd El Azim, Estefania Acosta, Akiva Blander, Justine Frances Flora, Bon hae Koo, Darcy Spence, Peter Talbot, Ann Mirjam Vaikla, Connie Wang, Asia Bazdireva, Lafina Eptaminitaki, Justine Frances Flora, Juan Carlos Javier, Amela Parcic, Luca Smith Senise.





Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Gaggenau; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.


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