and now for my next trick

archigram redux

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Let’s have another Archigram, shall we?   Who wouldn’t want walking cities, and living pods and instant city airships?  We must be mad!  starkers!  The ideas have been around since the 1960s, but we’re still walking around like we live in the 19th century.  I’m just off putting powder in my wig, for heaven’s sakes.

I found this good article from the British Council Design Museum.

You can flip through some of their mind bending work on the Archigram site.

Here’s Archigram:

ARCHIGRAM dominated the architectural avant garde in the 1960s and early 1970s with its playful, pop-inspired visions of a technocratic future after its formation in 1961 by a group of young London architects – Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb.

According to Peter Cook an Archigram member, their mandate was to oppose “the crap going up in London, against the attitude of a continuing European tradition of well-mannered, but gutless architecture that had absorbed the label “Modern” but had betrayed most of the philosophies of the earliest ‘Modern’.”

Michael Sorkin tries to sum it up and does pretty well, I think:

The US critic Michael Sorkin defined Archigram’s influences as a combination of Britain’s heroic engineering heritage – Crystal Palace, the Dreadnought, the Spitfire, the Forth Bridge and the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel – with Buckminster Fuller’s technocractic idealism and vernacular images of Marvel Comics and The Eagle, Meccano, sci-fi films, pop music, funfairs and pop art. “Bewitched by nomadic fantasies, Archigram argued that an architecture based on mobility and malleability could set people free,” he wrote. “This notion of consumer choice combined optimised technology, a post-Beat hitchhiker’s sense of freedom and the giddy styles of customisation found in Detroit.”


Written by Peter Rudd

March 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm

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