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Expanded Futures: Plenary Session

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This session will explore artist and designer responses to environmental resilience. Using nature as inspiration these designers have investigated what it means to create a closed-system environment, what we can learn from other organisms and how we can push our own thinking about the futures of the built environment.

Course expires 1/25/2026

Learning Objectives


Discover how to cultivate resilience through the practice of socio-ecological design and experimentation in form-making.


Learn about incorporate wildlife habitats into constructed environments.


Uncover what lessons self-sustaining physical environments can teach us about resilience and creating condition conducive to growth.


Investigate the application of digital manufacturing and how maker culture influences living architecture in the environment. 


More from the Intersections Research Conference >

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Joyce Hwang is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and Founder of Ants of the Prairie. She is a recipient of the Exhibit Columbus University Research Design Fellowship (2020-21), the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2014), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship (2013), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Independent Project Grant (2013, 2008), and the MacDowell Fellowship (2016, 2011). Her work has been featured by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and exhibited at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Matadero Madrid, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale, among other venues. Hwang is on the Steering Committee for US Architects Declare, serves as a Core Organizer for Dark Matter University, and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE). Hwang is a registered architect in New York State, and has practiced professionally with offices in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Barcelona.

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Ph.D., Assoc. AIA

Mitch is the Co-Founder of Terreform ONE and Associate Professor of Practice at NYU. Mitchell upholds noteworthy leadership roles as a University Senator and Co-Chair of Global Design NYU. Formerly, he worked as an architect at the professional of offices of Frank Gehry in Los Angeles, Moshe Safdie in Massachusetts, and I.M. Pei in New York. He has won many awards including: Fulbright Scholarship, LafargeHolcim Acknowledgement Prize, Ove Arup Foundation Grant, Architect R+D Award, AIA New York Urban Design Merit Award, Victor Papanek Social Design Award, 1st Place International Architecture Award, Zumtobel Award for Sustainability, Architizer A+ Award, History Channel Infiniti Award for City of the Future, and Time Magazine Best Invention with MIT Smart Cities. He is a TED Senior Fellow and has been awarded fellowships with Safdie Architects, and the Martin Society for Sustainability at MIT. Mitchell was featured in numerous articles: “The 100 People Who Are Changing America” in Rolling Stone, “The Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To” in Wired, “50 Under 50 Innovators of the 21st Century” by Images Publishing Group, “The NOW 99” in Dwell, and “Future of The Environment” in Popular Science. He co-authored four books, “Super Cells: Building with Biology” (TED Books), “Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned” (Prestel, 2014), “XXL-XS: New Directions in Ecological Design” (Actar 2016), and “Design with Life: Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities” (Actar 2019). His design work has been exhibited in numerous locations including MoMA in New York, DOX Center for Contemporary Art in Prague, MASS MoCA in North Adams, The Building Centre in London, DAZ in Berlin, OCAD in Toronto, NAI in Rotterdam, Seoul Biennale, and Venice Biennale. Previously, he was the Frank Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto and faculty at Pratt, Columbia, Syracuse, Rensselaer, Washington (St. Louis), Cornell, Parsons, and EGS. He earned a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MAUD at Harvard University, M.Arch at Columbia University with honors.

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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. Previously, she taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she directed the Master of Science Program, at Syracuse University, Columbia University [GSAPP] and Pratt Institute; she was also a visiting fellow at the University of Queensland and a visiting professor at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. Her work has been published and exhibited widely including the Venice Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Shenzhen Biennial, the Oslo Architecture Trienalle, 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 author of the awarded book 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 and the editor of EcoRedux, a special issue of Architectural Design magazine (AD, 2010). Kallipoliti holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, a Master of Science [SMArchS] in design and building technology from MIT and a PhD in history and theory of architecture from Princeton University. She is the principal of ANAcycle thinktank, which has been named a leading innovator in sustainable design in Build’s 2019 and 2020 awards. Kallipoliti is Head Co-Curator of the upcoming Tallinn Architecture Biennale in 2022 with the theme “Edible, Or, The Architecture of Metabolism.”

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Stephen Mueller was the co-chair of the 2022 AIA/ACSA Intersections Research Conference: Resilient Futures. Mueller is the founding Director of Research at POST (Project for Operative Spatial Technologies), a territorial think-tank and CoA research center situated on the US-Mexico border. POST engages transformations in the borderland through projects intersecting urban geography, border studies, and digital humanities. Stephen Mueller's research seeks novel applications for emerging spatial technologies to analyze, engage, and transform urban environments. Mueller's work leverages techniques of automation, sensing, visualization, and simulation to analyze, represent, predict, and operate within nascent binational environmental conditions.