Dorion Sagan, “Dissipative Spacescapes and Living Buildings: Four Billion Years of Architectonic Earth”

Drawing of a hand holding the earth between it's index finger and thumb.

"Gaia Hand", by Dorion Sagan, meant to represent the nexus of life on Earth through time, and which has served to illustrate Lynn Margulis and Karlene V. Schwartz's "Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth" book.

Event Description

As astronauts have sublimely recognized, Earth is a place – indeed, one that disappears when, orbiting, they pass to its “dark side” and it becomes a black circle where there are no stars. Tracing the amazing more-than-human distributed architectonics of Earth, Dorion Sagan does his own fly-by of the history of this extraordinary planet, not built so much as grown, from sunloving bacterial skyscrapers known as stromatolites to the living buildings we are.


Self-described as an artist stuck in the body of a science writer, the writer, theorist, and independent scholar, Dorion Sagan is author or coauthor of twenty-five books translated into fifteen languages, including several with biologist Lynn Margulis on planetary biology and evolution by symbiosis. He has also collaborated with Eric D. Schneider on the thermodynamics of life, and theoretical biologist Josh Mitteldorf on the evolution of aging. With his parents Carl Sagan and Lynn Margulis, he is first author of the entries for both “Life” and “Extraterrestrial Life” in the Encyclopædia Britannica.

How to Join

Register to attend the lecture here.

This event is organized by the Department of Landscape Architecture and DES3391 Time’s Arrow Time’s Cycle seminar led by Assistant Professor Pablo Pérez-Ramos.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact [email protected].

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].