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.
Superstudio: The Latest Architecture and News
On January 23, 2020, Adolfo Natalini has died at the age of 78. The Italian architect founded —together with Adolfo Natalini— one of the most important offices of radical post-war architecture in Italy, Superstudio, which, during the '60s and early '70s, focused on the form of a strong critique of the production methods of design and architecture.
All this analysis was reflected in a very different way of representing architecture, collages, experiments, manifestos, furniture, stories, storyboards, etc. This approach has unleashed multiple discussions that remained valid to this day among the younger generations, which have resumed these modes of criticism to apply them to new ways of producing and thinking about architecture.
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.
Yesterday, July 30, 2019, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia died at 78 years of age —56 years ago the architect founded - together with Adolfo Natalini - one of the most important offices of radical post-war architecture in Italy, Superstudio, which, during the 60's and early 70's, focused on the form of a strong critique of the production methods of design and architecture. All this analysis was reflected in a very different way of representing architecture, collages, experiments, manifestos, furniture, stories, storyboards, etc. This approach has unleashed multiple discussions that remained valid to this day among the younger generations, which have resumed these modes of criticism to apply them to new ways of producing and thinking about architecture.
"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.
The old adage "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" (it's stupid etc.), loses some of its impact when architecture becomes the backdrop for both music, and dancing. Ever since video killed the radio star, famous houses, quirky spaces, and history's great buildings have provided beautiful, unique and dramatic settings for music videos of all types. So which of 2017s music videos have capitalized on the wonderful world of architecture?
Thespaces.com have compiled a list of the best music videos for architecture lovers for 2017. Here are a few of our favorites and a few additional videos we think deserve a mention.
A new collection of five minute-long On Design stories—developed by the team behind Section D, Monocle 24's 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft—profile a person, survey a place, or unpack an idea that’s changing or shaping design and architecture today. We've selected fourteen of our favorites from the ongoing series, examining issues as wide as Postmodernism and the architectural competition, to five-minute profiles of Alvaro Siza, Josef Hoffman, Kengo Kuma and Superstudio.
On the 26th of February 2016 the project Savage Architecture — an exhibition at Architectural Association of London and a book published by Black Square both curated by Davide Sacconi — will be presented in a symposium at the Italian Cultural Institute of London. The project recounts the research at the intersection between architecture and anthropology developed in the last fifty years by Gian Piero Frassinelli (former member of Superstudio) and his recent collaboration with 2A+P/A (architectural practice based in Rome).
As part of the ongoing festivities celebrating Karlsruhe's 300th anniversary (KA300), the German city's central palace is being illuminated nightly with projections inspired by Italian 70s architecture group Superstudio and Lebbeus Woods. The elaborate installation, the Schlosslichtspiele is showcasing the work of nine prominent artists and artist groups - all of whom uniquely explore the "depths and shallows" of the Karlsruhe Palace with their visual art.
Read on to watch a video of the projections.