Italians Do It Better: The Radical Design of Superstudio




Superstudio was an architecture firm, founded in 1966 in Florence, Italy by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. It was  part of the Radical architecture movement of the late 1960s.

In 1967, Natalini established three categories of future research: “architecture of the monument”; the “architecture of the image”; and “tecnomorphic architecture”. Soon, Superstudio would be known for its conceptual architecture works, most notably the 1969 Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization.

Many of their projects were originally published in the magazine Casabella, and ranged from fiction, to storyboard illustration, to photomontage.

Natalini wrote in 1971 “…if design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities…until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…”

Superstudio was influential on architects such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi.