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.


Closed Worlds, presented as an exhibition at Storefront’s gallery space in 2016, is released in collaboration with Lars Müller Publications and Storefront for Art and Architecture. Read more about the overall project here