In the 1960s, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia and Adolfo Natalini, two Florence-based architecture students in their twenties, decided to undertake the substantial task of designing a new way for the citizens of the globe to inhabit the earth. Driven by the possibilities laid out in science fiction novels and the desire to prescribe design to solve the problems of their era, the duo, who dubbed themselves as Superstudio, sought to continuously reinvent their role in what it means to be an architect. Their solution was the creation of an “anti-design” culture as a means to provide commentary on politics, capitalism, and urbanism, by creating ideas in which everyone is given a functional space that frees itself of time, place, and the need for excessive objects.
1960s: The Latest Architecture and News
The opening of the Century 21 Exposition on April 21, 1962 transformed the image of Seattle and the American Northwest in the eyes of the world. The region, which had been known until that point more for its natural resources than as a cultural capital, established a new reputation as a center of emergent technologies and aerospace design. This new identity was embodied by the centerpiece of the exposition: the Space Needle, a slender assemblage of steel and reinforced concrete which became—and remains—Seattle’s most iconic landmark.