Archigram was a 1960s avant-garde architectural group formed in London. Their hypothetical projects were futurist, anti-heroic and pro-consumerism that drew inspiration from technology in order to create new realities. Their most popular project was "Living Cities" but their coolest was "Walking Cities".
The Walking City is constituted by intelligent buildings or robots that are in the form of giant, self contained living pods that could roam the cities. The form derived from a combination of insect and machine and was a literal interpretation of Corbusier's aphorism of a house as a machine for living in. The pods were independent, yet parasitic as they could 'plug in' to way stations to exchange occupants or replenish resources. The citizen is therefore a serviced nomad not totally dissimilar from today's executive cars. The context was perceived as a future ruined world in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
Above text from Wikipedia
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.
Roger Dean is an artist and an architect best known for creating the album art for bands like Asia and Yes. He also designs homes, including the one below, which seems loyal to his aesthetic and a suitable place to day dream.
Crazy, artistic, stingy, obsessed with taxes. Sex maniac, master architect, drug addict, genius. Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) is one of the most colorful figures in the world of architecture and Italian design.
He spent his life in the tranquil city of Torino, where a character such as he had few hopes to fit in. Even today, 20 years after his death, there has been little effort made to keep the memory of this extraordinary person alive. Quite to the contrary, many of his architectural works have fallen into a state of disrepair.
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Above from the great Rolu
Built as an antiestablishment utopia in the mid 1960s, Vermont enclave Prickly Mountain has had a profound influence on contemporary architecture
I’ve always loved the kind of novels that offer an alternative view of the present, where the plot is predicated on one key event in history playing out differently. For instance, there’s Kingsley Amis’s The Alteration, set in England nearly five centuries after the Protestant Reformation didn’t take place. The Catholic Church is unchallenged in its authority, and castrati still sing in the choir. Similarly when Czech Cubism, the surreal cousin to Modernism, emerged after the disintegration of the Iron Curtain, I tried to imagine what the world would be like today if, instead of the rectilinear approach associated with the Bauhaus, an architecture based on triangles and crystalline forms became the norm. Imagine Park Avenue lined with buildings that look like…well, like Norman Foster’s new Hearst headquarters.
This is the appeal of Prickly Mountain. A 425-acre enclave not far from the Sugarbush ski resort, it’s a repository of an architectural revolution that never quite took off, a storybook version of the world as it might have been. Or as Progressive Architecture put it in May 1966: “Are you ready? Two lumbering mountaineers just out of Yale Architecture have a project going called Prickly Mountain…and they’re putting down the Establishment by acting as entrepreneur, land speculator, and contractor and craftsman as well as architects, and doing the whole blooming thing themselves. It’s architectural blastoff.”
I'll be in Woodstock next weekend for the New Year. In honor of that, here's a pretty cool book devoted to the handmade houses of Woodstock.
About five years ago, I had the pleasure of staying in the house on the left. The photo to the right is my friend Mike who made that happen. There's at least 30 years difference between to the two pictures and the house looks just about the same.