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Page history last edited by ross.guntert@gmail.com 8 years, 6 months ago




Archigram was an  avante-garde architectural group formed in the 1960s - based at the AA in London - that was futurist, anti-heroic and pro-consumerist, drawing inspiration from technology in order to create a new reality that was solely expressed through hypothetical projects. The main members of the group were Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene. Designer Theo Crosby was the "hidden hand" behind the group. He gave them coverage in Architectural Design magazine (where he was an editor from 1953–62), brought them to the attention of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, where, in 1963, they mounted an exhibition called Living Cities, and in 1964 brought them into the Taylor Woodrow Design Group, which he headed, to take on experimental projects.  The pamphlet Archigram I was printed in 1961 to proclaim their ideas. Committed to a 'high tech', light weight; infra-structural approach that was focused towards survival technology, the group experimented with modular technology, mobility through the environment, space capsules and mass-consumer imagery.




Peter Cook, 1964


Plug-in-City is a mega-structure with no buildings, just a massive framework into which dwellings in the form of cells or standardized components could be slotted. The machine had taken over and people were the raw material being processed, the difference being that people are meant to enjoy the experience.



The Walking City

Ron Herron, 1964


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.



Instant City

Ron Herron, 1969


Instant City is a mobile technological event that drifts into underdeveloped, drab towns via air (balloons) with provisional structures (performance spaces) in tow. The effect is a deliberate overstimulation to produce mass culture, with an embrace of advertising aesthetics. The whole endeavor is intended to eventually move on leaving behind advanced technology hook-ups.




Michael Webb, 1972


The space suit could be identified as a minimal house. In the previous Cushicle, the environment for the rider was provided by the Cushicle - a mechanism like a car. In this project the suit itself provides all the necessary services, the Cushicle being the source of (a) movement, (b) a larger envelope than the suit can provide, (c) power. Each suit has a plug serving a similar function to the key to your front door. You can plug into your friend and you will both be in one envelope, or you can plug into any envelope, stepping out of your suit which is left clipped on to the outside ready to step into when you leave. The plug also serves as a means of connecting envelopes together to form larger spaces.

The Cushicle shown is for one rider only. Various models of Cushicle envelope and suit would of course be available ranging from super sports to family models



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