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Spring 2023 Lecture: Lydia Kallipoliti

February 6, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

No cost
image of a laboratory in pink light with a ball in the background

Our Spring 2023 Lecture Series kicks off on Feb. 6, 2023, with Lydia Kallipoliti, an associate professor at the Cooper Union in New York. Kallipoliti will be presenting her lecture entitled “Our Dirty Footprint: Architecture in the age of extinction, entanglements and other bodies.”

This lecture seeks to reveal how architecture constructs, distributes and leverages power via material upcycling, interspecies alliances, biopolitics and excremental processes.

As described by Kallipoliti: Many people tend to think of human waste as a phantom material condition, relayed to the management of urban resources; yet it infiltrates the air and water we breathe. It is a matter intricately enmeshed with the “dirty” physiology of the body and is thus weaved into the ecology of habitation. While ecological systems of the postwar period portrayed the inhabitant as an indispensable part of building ecology, currently this image is dismissed. Environmental concerns promote a conservationist ethic and a list of cautionary daily practices of scarcity. Integrating the body’s dirty physiology in the ecology of habitation potentially reveals alternative scenarios for handling waste as a resource in the future of urban environments. This talk maps and redraws the affinities of the built environment as a product of many forces, translated into the tensions between products and by-products, production, and consumption and, finally, creation and decomposition.

Learn more about Kallipoliti:

image of Kallipolti
Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of architecture, technology and environmental politics. She is an Associate Professor at the Cooper Union in New York. Kallipoliti is the author of The Architecture of Closed Worlds, Or, What is the Power of Shit (Lars Muller Publishers, 2018), the History of Ecological Design for Oxford English Encyclopedia of Environmental Science (2018) and the editor of EcoRedux, an issue of Architectural Design in 2010. Her work has been published and exhibited widely including the Venice Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Shenzhen Biennial, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Onassis Cultural Center, the Lisbon Triennale, the Royal Academy of British Architects, the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York and the London Design Museum.  She is the principal of the ANAcycle research thinktank, which has been named a leading innovator in sustainable design in Build’s 2019 and 2020 awards and head co-curator of the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale. Kallipoliti holds a diploma in architecture and engineering from AUTh in Greece, a master of science (SMArchS) from MIT and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Can’t attend? Watch the livestreamed lecture.

The lecture is funded by the Robert B. Church Memorial Lecture Fund. It is free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held in McCarty Auditorium in the Art + Architecture Building at 5:30 p.m. For last-minute changes to this event, check this page as well as the college’s Facebook page.

See our full 2022-2023 lectures and exhibits series.


image of Kallipolti's work

image of Kallipolti's work
image of Kallipolti's work
image of Kallipolti's work


February 6, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
No cost


Mark Stanley


Art + Architecture Building Rm. 109
1715 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville TN, TN United States
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