The concept of a city can be viewed as a constantly evolving system where both architects and users contribute to its design and redesign. While its framework may start with planners or designers, the character of the urban fabric is ultimately shaped by the societies and generations that inhabit it. The question of "city authorship" often arises in the context of masterplan design. Can architects and urban planners determine the extent to which a city will evolve through its initial design? The answer is no. User authorship then acknowledges that city planning should not be approached like building design, where designers attempt to predict every aspect of shape, pattern, behavior, and culture. Instead, it recognizes the role that people play in shaping the urban fabric through their personal taste in architecture, the development of neighborhood personality, and ongoing redesign that contributes to the story and spirit of a place. These factors should be considered in the initial design by engaging ideas related to future expansion, adaptable infrastructure, and empowering citizens to contribute to the city's architecture, thus making the city design democratic. This article explores conceptual radical cities where designers embrace the ideas of user authorship and the constant evolution of ephemeral architecture.
Archigram: The Latest Architecture and News
Koolhaas' journalism work won him fame in architecture before he completed a single building. The switch from storyteller to architect was more a change in the script than a professional shift. He pointed out that "[architecture] is a form of scriptwriting that implicitly describes human and spatial relationships." Restating the role of architecture in defining daily life beyond buildings and cities' construction, architecture is also a written and spoken tool capable of explaining daily worldwide events, giving voices to unspoken projects, and actively shaping the future of the architect's role.
Domenig was one of Austria’s most radical architects and a major influence on many of architecture’s leading lights but remains widely unknown. A new exhibition aims to change that.
We are still at the dawn of the Metaverse, the next wave of the Internet. The current “mainstream” Metaverse platforms serve as experimental containers to host the wildest dreams of virtual worlds where we are supposed to unleash the imagination. However, from a spatial design perspective, they have so far been lame and ordinary. Without the constraints in the physical world, how do we draft the urban blueprints in the metaverse? I believe metaverse planners can find inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, in which he revealed a poetic and mathematical approach to “urban planning” in the imaginary worlds.
In its new exhibition Peter Cook: City Landscapes, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art showcases drawings by the influential architect, best known for his architectural theories and visionary concepts. Curated by Kjeld Kjeldsen and Mette Marie Kallehauge, the event is part of the exhibition series Louisiana on Paper, which presented the work of various artists over the years and is now debuting its first show featuring drawings by an architect.
After its opening was curtailed this past winter by the coronavirus pandemic, the hotly anticipated Archigram Cities exhibition is now officially up-and-running throughout November 2020. Presented by the Hong Kong-based visual culture museum M+ and organized in collaboration with the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Power Station of Art, Archigram Cities has taken form as a hybrid virtual/in-person slate of happenings—talks, screenings, presentations, and more—that plumb and celebrate the vast legacy of British avant-garde architectural collective Archigram.
Until recently, the origins of the tiny-house movement were of little interest to the scientific community; however, if we take a look at the history of architecture and its connection to the evolution of human lifestyles, we can detect pieces and patterns that paint a clearer picture of the foundations of this movement that has exploded in the last decade as people leave behind the excesses of old and opt for a much more minimalist and flexible way of life.
As one of the founding members of Archigram, the avant-garde neo-futurist architecture group of the 1960s, the British architect, professor, and writer Sir Peter Cook (born 22 October 1936) has been a pivotal figure within the global architectural world for over half a century; one of his most significant works from his time with Archigram, The Plug-In City, still invokes debates on technology and society, challenging standards of architectural discourse today.
Superstudio and Archigram were the pioneers of the dystopia they had popularized in 1960, when they experienced a crisis that tore world economies, positioning Italy in a historic moment of boom and bust that harbored dreams and despair.
The M+ Museum in Hong Kong, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, has purchased the entire archive of the prominent Archigram group. As reported by the Architect’s Journal, the collection was sold for £1.8 million, having been given the go-ahead by the UK’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright.
The sale has not been without controversy, with opposition from the Arts Council’s reviewing committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest. The committee had sought a delay in the sale until a buyer was found who would keep the collection in the UK.
"We Dream of Instant Cities that Could Sprout like Spring Flowers": The Radical Architecture Collectives of the 60s and 70s
The first moon landing, widespread anti-war protests, Woodstock and the hippies, rural communes and environmentalism, the Berlin Wall, the women’s liberation movement and so much more—the tumultuous decades of the Sixties and Seventies occupy an unforgettable place in history. With injustices openly questioned and radical ideas that set out to unseat existing conventions and practices in various spheres of life, things weren’t any different in the architectural world.
The grand visions dreamt up by the modernists were soon challenged by utopian experiments from the “anti-architecture” or “radical design” groups of the 1960–70s. Reestablishing architecture as an instrument of political, social, and cultural critique, they drafted bold manifestoes and designs, experimented with collage, music, performance art, furniture, graphic design, zines, installations, events, and exhibitions. While certain individuals from this era like Cedric Price, Hans Hollein, and Yona Friedman remain important to the realm of the radical and the unbuilt, the revolutionary spirit of these decades also saw the birth of various young collectives. For eccentricity at its very best, read on for a (by no means exhaustive) list of some groups who dared to question, poke, expand, rebel against, disrupt and redefine architecture in the 60s and 70s.
Architectural comprehension as a field deals with representation as a synthesis of varied efforts —constructive, compositional, spatial, and technical qualities— which are then articulated in the constructed building. For this purpose, it is essential to think about the graphic representation that presupposes all these efforts, since it is both a procedure and a product of architectural design.
It only takes a pen, paper, and an innovative mind to create remarkable structures. Bringing these architectures to life, however, is where challenges arise. While some architects have shown their creativity and ambition by designing and constructing some of the craziest structures the world has ever seen, other architects were only left with an ambitious drawing. Whether due to financial limitations or designs that are way ahead of their time, some projects never saw the light of day.
Although you won’t be visiting these structures anytime soon—or ever, as far as we know—take a virtual tour of what could have been 7 of the world’s most iconic, innovative structures, courtesy of renders produced by Onward, the blog from Onstride Financial.