The Manifesto of Futurism, written by Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909, was the rallying cry for the avant-garde movement driven by the writers, musicians, artists, and even architects (among them Antonio Sant'Elia) in the early 20th century. After the manifesto's publication, Futurism quickly came to the forefront of public conscience and opened the way for many other cutting edge movements in the art world and beyond.
While the movement would undergo a significant decline in the years following World War II, it reinvented itself decades later during the Space Age, when faith in technology and industry were at a fever-pitch and the world's powers were racing to put humans on the Moon. All of a sudden, humanity had a new cultural panorama that inspired every facet of society--from musicians, to scientists, to architects. With the combination of engineering and art, not to mention the bountiful scientific achievements of the time, works of architecture turned into works of science fiction.
Recently, photographer Stefano Perego documented a series of works that exemplify the legacy left behind by the radical architects of the 1970s. Truly acolytes of their time, these architects sought to bring the future to the present through their designs, giving us iconic works such as the prototype Futuro House (Matti Suuronen, 1968), the Makedonium (Jordan Grabuloski + Iskra Grabuloska, 1974) or the spherical houses of the Bolwoningen community (Dries Kreijkamp, 1980-1985).
All of these projects mix organic and geometric forms with materials like plastic, steel, and concrete to bring to life humanity's dreams for the future.
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The formative role that science fiction played in architecture, along with film, art, and literature, is captured in a series of writings from the late 1950s and early 60s. Reyner Banham, in his 1958 article “Space, Fiction, and Architecture,” cited László Moholy Nagy, affirming that "we need utopians of genius, a new Julio Verne, not to outline an easy-to-understand technological utopia but to outline the very condition of future men." Banham reinforced the idea that this longing and aspiration would inspire the architectural imagination of an entire generation. In this same writing, he concludes that science fiction is "a part of the essential education to form the imagination of any technologist."
Stefano Perego (1984) is an architectural photographer based in Milan, Italy. He collaborates frequently with architectural studios as well as artists and is co-author of a book SOVIET ASIA (Modern Soviet Architecture in Central Asia). His strong interest in the architecture of the later 20th century has centered his work Modernism, Brutalism, and Post-Modernism. You can see more of Stefano Perego's work by visiting his website and checking out his Instagram account.
-   Banham, Reyner. “Space, Fiction, and Architecture”. Publicado en The Architects’ Journal. Londres: The Architectural Press (1958) Vol. 127. páginas 557-559.