What do outer space capsules, submarines, and office buildings have in common? Each was 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.
exhibition: Lydia KALLIPOLITI (curator), “Closed Worlds.”
Tuesday, 02/16 (opening) – Saturday, 04/09
7.00–9.00 p.m. / Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
The history of twentieth century architecture, design, and engineering has been strongly linked to the conceptualization and production of closed systems. As partial reconstructions of the world in time and in space, closed systems identify and secure the cycling of materials necessary for the sustenance of life. Contemporary discussions about global warming, recycling, and sustainability have emerged as direct conceptual constructs related to the study and analysis of closed systems.
Closed Worlds, curated by Lydia Kallipoliti, will exhibit an archive of 41 historical living prototypes built over the last century that present an unexplored genealogy of closed resource regeneration systems. The exhibition will also feature the virtual reality ecosystem Some World Games, by Farzin Farzin, a contemporary 42nd prototype selected as the winner of the Closed Worlds Design Competition hosted by Storefront in November 2015.
From the space program to countercultural architectural groups experimenting with autonomous living, Closed Worlds documents a larger disciplinary transformation 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. While deriving from a deeply rooted fantasy of architecture producing nature, Closed Worlds integrates these ideas into the very fabric of reality in our contemporary cities and buildings.
About the 42nd Prototype
Some World Games, the winning installation of the Closed Worlds Design Competition, is an immersive environment that urges visitors to explore and experiment with virtual prototypes generated from the archive of 41 closed systems exhibited as part of the larger Closed Worlds exhibition. Participants are guided through the installation on a looped track that channels their kinetic motion through an orbiting virtual environment.
Some World Games harnesses the expended energy of exhibition exploration-the acts of reading, viewing, and wandering-and puts this agency on display. Entering the installation is a decisive act in which the visitor consents to a moment of vulnerability, plugging into the universe of the archive and engaging with its content through virtual immersion in physical space.
For more information about the competition and the winning design, see here.
Closed Worlds: Encounters That Never Happened
On Saturday, February 27th, Storefront for Art and Architecture and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union will jointly present a public conference, Closed Worlds: Encounters that Never Happened. The conference will take place at The Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium from 12 to 6 pm.
For more information about the conference, an updated list of participants, and to RSVP, see here.