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Lydia Kallipoliti: The Latest Architecture and News

Why Architects Need to Get Dirty to Save the World

Courtesy of the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller
Courtesy of the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Why Architects Need to Get Dirty to Save the World."

Of all the terrarium-like experiments included in Lydia Kallipoliti’s The Architecture of Closed Worlds: Or, What Is the Power of Shit? (Lars Müller/Storefront for Art and Architecture), Biosphere 2 is the most infamous. A steel-and-glass structure baking in the Arizona desert, it represents the hope and hubris of re-creating Earth on Earth. The project was launched by an alternative living group with a taste for theater, and tanked by disastrous management by Steve Bannon (yes, him). As such, it illustrates the risky arc that courses through Kallipoliti’s 300-page volume—visions of utopia bending toward ultimate failure.