Eric Ellingsen aims to develop collective and individual imaginations through process-oriented work, perception, and action-based research across the fields of landscape architecture, architecture, and art. He founded Species of Space (SOS) in 2009, implementing tools from many different bodies of knowledge to create spatial narratives entangling experimentation and pedagogy as art forms. Through the design of site- and institution-specific works, he advocates for a living-learning agency, which involves growing spatial languages and the ability to translate meanings and values across disciplines. Through the design and choreography of situations, encounters, public art installations, curation, poetry, walks, and performances, Ellingsen seeks to construct alternative ways of perceiving and using public spaces that empower communities and citizens as agents in the design and self-determination of their own spaces, stories, and lives.
From 2009-2014, Ellingsen co-directed and taught at the Institute for Spatial Experiments, a five-year education project started by artist Olafur Eliasson, affiliated with the Berlin University of the Arts. During his time there, Ellingsen worked to cultivate new critical spatial modes, methods, and models for teaching and practice. He has served as the assistant director of the Master of Landscape Architecture program and visiting assistant professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Previous teaching appointments include the Mitchell Visiting Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, visiting critic at Cornell University, and lecturer at the University of Toronto.
Ellingsen earned master’s degrees in landscape architecture and architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree in classical philosophy from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Recent and forthcoming publications include Twisted (Broken Dimanche Press, 2017), GAM. 13: Spatial Expeditions (Graz Architecture Press, 2016), Some Pigeons Are More Equal Than Others (Lars Muller Publishers, 2015), MODELS, 306090 (Princeton Architecture Press, 2008), BOMB online, World Literature Today, and Forty-Five, a journal of outside research.
Ellingsen works and exhibits internationally, including at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Sullivan Galleries in Chicago, and has been involved in a long-term collaboration with Ethiopian poets, musicians, and artists. He received an ARTECITYA artist residency (Thessaloniki, Greece) in 2016, a Library of Water residency in Iceland in 2014, and two Graham Foundation grants to individuals in 2012 and 2014. In 2017, Ellingsen and his partner, Lynn Peemoeller, cofounded LEEPWORKS, an experiential education design practice for urban connections therapy.