Some World Games
A virtual reality installation by Farzin Farzin that presents a contemporary 42nd prototype of a closed system inside the
walls of Storefront’s gallery space at 97 Kenmare Street.
About the Closed Worlds Exhibition
What do outer space capsules, submarines, and office buildings have in common? Each was conceived as
a closed system: a selfsustaining
physical environment demarcated from its surroundings by a boundary
that does not allow for the transfer of matter or energy.
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, exhibits an archive of 41 historical living prototypes built over the
last century that present an unexplored genealogy of closed resource regeneration systems. The exhibition
also features Some World Games , a virtual reality ecosystem by Farzin Farzin that presents 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 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 these ideas derive from a deeply rooted fantasy of
architecture producing nature, Closed Worlds displays their integration 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
Some World Games harnesses the expended energy of exhibition explorationthe
acts of reading, viewing,
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.
Closed Worlds Exhibition:
Curator and Principal Researcher : Lydia Kallipoliti
Research : Alyssa Goraieb, Hamza Hasan, Tiffany Montanez, Catherine Walker, Royd Zhang, Miguel
Emily Estes, Danielle Griffo and Chendru Starkloff
Graphic and Exhibition Design : Pentagram / Natasha Jen with Melodie Yashar and JangHyun Han
Feedback Drawings : Tope Olujobi with Lydia Kallipoliti
Lexicon Editor : Hamza Hasan
Special Thanks: Bess Krietemeyer, Andreas Theodoridis, Cecilia Ramos, Alex Miller
42nd Prototype, Some World Games :
Installation Design, Concept, and Fabrication : Farzin Farzin (Farzin LotfiJam,
Sharif Anous, John Arnold)
Fabrication Assistance : Joseph Vidich, Kin & Company
Lighting Design Assistance : Christopher Adam Architectural Illumination Engineering
Farzin Farzin investigates the means by which objects, sites and systems acquire cultural value and examines the representation of value in architectural form. In what unexpected ways might architecture engage questions of history, preservation, and political contingency? Can a method of intervention in these matters be learned from the hairy logic of computational processes? The studio addresses these questions through the design of spaces, software, and media.
Farzin Farzin was founded in 2008 by Farzin Lotfi-Jam. Lotfi-Jam (b. 1984, Tehran) is an adjunct professor in architecture at Columbia University, and holds advanced degrees from Columbia University and RMIT University in Melbourne Australia. He is a 2015-2017 Fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and was a 2013-2014 Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan.