Night White Skies

Join Sean Lally in conversation about architecture’s future, as both earth’s environment and our human bodies are now open for design. The podcast engages a diverse range of perspectives to get a better picture of the events currently unfolding. This includes philosophers, cultural anthropologists, policy makers, scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Each individual’s work intersects this core topic, but from unique angles. Lally is the author of the book The Air from Other Planets: A Brief History of Architecture to Come and an associate professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the recipient of the Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in Landscape Architecture.
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Night White Skies




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Mar 4, 2019

‘The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do’.  Edward Tenner is a distinguished scholar of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and a visiting scholar in the Rutgers University Department of History. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticThe Wilson Quarterly, and

Feb 11, 2019

Perry Kulper, an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. He has recently published Pamphlet Architecture 34, ‘Fathoming the Unfathomable: Archival Ghosts and Paradoxical Shadows’ with Nat Chard. They are at work on a new book to be published by Routledge.

Jan 28, 2019

Dr. Catherine Bliss is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California San Francisco. Her research explores the sociology of race, gender and sexuality in science, medicine, and society. 

 Today we’re discussing her book ‘Social by Nature, The Promise and Peril of Sociogenomics’. We discuss the relationships between our body's genetic makeup and the environments we live in.

Jan 14, 2019

Brad is the Chair of the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Virginia.

Brad is the co-author of the book ‘Responsive Landscapes’ with Justine Holzman. And co authored of the paper‘Designing Autonomy: Opportunities for New Wildness in the Anthropocene’ with Laura J. Martin, and Erle C. Ellis. This article is our jumping off point for the conversation which discusses the use of machine learning for maintaining areas of non human ecologies. What are the implications and opportunities in decision making when ecological territories are structured by an A.I. or machine learning strategy.

Dec 17, 2018

Today we discuss Chris's writings about augmented reality and cartography. Chris is a public servant within Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Directorate, Northern Ireland Civil Service as well as a guest writer for San Francisco based Venture Beat.


Nov 12, 2018

Today is a conversation with Chris Pak who is a scholar of speculative literature. His research interests are in the ecological and environmental significance of stories of terraforming and pantropy , which is to say the modification of other planets and the modification of bodies to enable the habitation of otherwise uninhabitable environments. His book (which we’ll be discussing today) is from Liverpool University Press called, Terraforming: Ecopolitical Transformations and Environmentalism in Science Fiction. The book focuses on terraforming and its link to climate change and geoengineering, global politics and the relationship between the sciences, philosophy and the arts.

Oct 29, 2018

Astrophysicist Adam Frank is a leading expert on the final stages of evolution for stars like the sun, and his computational research group at the University of Rochester has developed advanced supercomputer tools for studying how stars form and how they die. His most recent book is 'Light of the Stars, Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth'.

Oct 22, 2018

Muchaneta Kap-fundee is founding editor-in-chief of, which she co founded with Mano ten Napel in 2015. Fashnerd is one of the fastest growing digital magazines writing about fashion technology and wearables.

Oct 8, 2018

Today is a conversation with Ian Bogost. Dr. Ian Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic.

We discussed privacy, machine learning, cows, and buying twizzlers.

Oct 1, 2018

This week is with Paola Antonelli - MoMA's Senior Curator of Architecture & Design + Director of R&D. We’re discussing her new show ‘Broken Nature’ for the upcoming XXII Triennale di Milano.

Sep 24, 2018

Kiel Moe is a practicing architect and Sheff Professor of Architecture at McGill University, and author of 8 books. We’re discussing his most recent book Empire, State and Building. The book plots the material history and geography for one plot of land in Manhattan – the parcel of land under the Empire State Building – over the past two hundred years.

Sep 17, 2018

This week is a conversation with architects Rania Ghosn & El Hadi Jazairy about 'Geostories - Another Architecture for the Environment'.

Jul 23, 2018

This week is a conversation with the architect Filip Tejchman about the recent book by Michael Pollan 'How to Change Your Mind, What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence'.


Jun 25, 2018

Rob DeSalle is curator at the American Museum of Natural History & author of 'Our Senses, An Immersive Experience'.

Jun 10, 2018

Today is a conversation with Bryan Norwood who recently guest edited Log 42 (winter/spring 2018) entitled “Disorienting Phenomenology.” Bryan Norwood is completing his PhD at Harvard University in the History and Theory of Architecture. 

For more visit

Jun 3, 2018

This episode is a conversation about the work of the author Ursula Le Guin with Sing Yun Lee and Francis Gene-Rowe (both members of The London Science Fiction Research Community) 

May 21, 2018

This week is a conversation with philosopher Graham Harman. We talk about his introduction of Object Oriented Ontology (or OOO) and it’s potential influence on the discipline of architecture.

(photo credit: SciArc)

May 14, 2018

Mario Carpo is the Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural History and Theory at the Bartlett, UCL, London & author of the article “Post-Digital “Quitters”: Why the Shift Toward Collage Is Worrying”. 

His latest monograph is, The Second Digital Turn: Design Beyond Intelligence, has just been published by the MIT Press.

May 7, 2018

I’m happy to say that today’s guests are two friends - architects Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno of Future Cities Lab. Future Cities Lab is an experimental art and Design studio in Francisco, CA.

Since 2005, founders Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno have collaborated on a range of cutting-edge projects exploring the intersections of art and design with public space, performance, advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, and responsive building systems.


Apr 23, 2018

This week I’m talking with Chris Thomas, professor of conservation biology at the University of York in the UK and author of the recent book ‘Inheritors of the Earth, How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction’. His numerous articles and academic works make him one of the world’s most influential ecologists, and his research has been covered on the front pages of the Guardian and Washington Post. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2012, received Marsh Awards for Climate Change Research in 2011 and for Conservation Biology in 2004, and was awarded the prestigious British Ecological Society President’s Medal in 2001.

Apr 16, 2018

This week is a conversation with chemist and author Kathryn Harkup about her book ‘Making the Monster, The Science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’. Kathryn completed a doctorate on her favorite chemicals, phosphines, and went on to further postdoctoral research before realizing that talking, writing and demonstrating science appealed a bit more that hours slaving over a hot fume-hood. She currently writes a monthly poison blog for the Guardian and gives regular public talks on the disgusting and dangerous side of science. Kathryn’s first book was the international best-seller ‘A is for Arsenic’, which was shortlisted for a Mystery Readers International Macavity Award and a BMA Book Award.

Apr 9, 2018

This week on Night White Skies is a ‘Topical Interlude’ - A fictional conversation between myself a Larry Page of Google and a look at NYC’s Central Park in 2034.

Apr 2, 2018

This episode is a conversation with architectural designer and theorist Christopher Hight about two science fiction books;'The Drowned World' by J. G. Ballard, and 'Seveneves' by Neal Stephenson. The two books were published over 50 years apart. Both of these books are prime candidates for this show because they each do two things. The two books discuss an evolving Earth climate as well as an evolving human species. There is also quit a bit of difference within these two books. We see very different reasons for the climate change that’s taking place, the plotlines occur over drastically different time scales, and the ‘how’ and ‘what’ that occurs to human evolution is different. The two books also open a conversation about how designers and architects can rethink the concept of resilience regarding the environment.

Mar 26, 2018

It’s a great article about the work of NASA and others putting humans in space. To put people in space, you have to create environments for them to live. In the early 1970’s NASA created big plans for new space colonies for human to live in. But what kind of nature would we be bringing up to space? If the same nature that we know of down here on earth doesn’t have to abide by the same rules of light, soil, atmosphere and gravity up there in space, how might it be different And therefore how might that shape us as humans. How might this change our own perspectives and relationships to nature back here on Earth.

Mar 12, 2018

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 120 articles and chapters and is author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth BranchScience at the BarDesigns on Nature, and The Ethics of Invention. Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies. She founded and directs the STS Program at Harvard; previously, she was founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell. She has held distinguished visiting appointments at leading universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. Jasanoff served on the AAAS Board of Directors and as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the University of Ghent Sarton Chair, an Ehrenkreuz from the Government of Austria, and membership in the Royal Danish Academy. She holds AB, JD, and PhD degrees from Harvard, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente.

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