The exceptional, lavish and quickly out-of-print Japanese Archigram book, published in 2005 to accompany a major retrospective exhibition that presented the Archigram archives, “Archigram: Experimental Architecture 1961-1974” at Contemporary Art Gallery Art Tower Mito. This first and only printing comes wrapped in a thick, transparent printed acetate dust-jacket and presents page after page of full-bleed colour photographic documentation of this exhibition (installations, drawings, collages, paintings, models, ephemera), punctuated with incredible facsimile inserts sampling Archigram’s many influential publications from the 1960s and 1970s, enclosed in printed envelopes and fold-out spreads spanning different paper-stocks and formats across the book.
The Exhibition focused on the innovative concepts and visionary projects of Archigram, an avant-garde architectural group formed in the 1960s – based at the Architectural Association, London – that was neofuturistic, anti-heroic and pro-consumerist, drawing inspiration from technology in order to create a new reality that was solely expressed through hypothetical projects, including “Capsule Homes” (1964), “Plug-In City” (1964), “Walking City” (1964), “Instant City” (1968), “Cushicle” (1969)…
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. Especially active between 1961 and 1974, the group anticipated the global inter-relatedness of culture and technology and thus had an immediate influence on architectural discussions worldwide – the significance of their work continues to be felt today. Their radical re-definitions of domestic architecture and urban planning, as well as an aesthetic that transcends practical function, had wide-felt repercussions on contemporary British art of the 1960s and the subsequent avant-garde in architecture at that time in Europe, Japan, and America. Their work inspired two like-minded Italian collectives, Archizoom and Superstudio and Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers’ Centre Pompidou (1972-76) in Paris, as well as buildings by Japanese “metabolist” architects such as Kenzo Tange’s Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center (1965-70) in Tokyo. Archigram responded to comic books and pop music, space travel and moon landing, science fiction and the exciting new technologies of the sixties and seventies, their inspirations came from architects and artists such as Buckminster Fuller, Bruno Taut, and Friedrich Kiesler. As a result, they created radical alternatives to cities, houses and other architectural archetypes, communicating their ideas through Archigram magazine as well as though traditional architectural renderings, gallery exhibitions, multi-media installations, and collage. Their unique style of rendering often emphasized concepts over architectural forms, and had an enormous influence on modern architectural drawing techniques as well as the conceptualization of architectural ideas.
Texts in English and Japanese, including essays, profiles of Archigram members, and an interview with Peter Cook.
Great copy in fine, As New condition of this densely-layered and impressive book that reflects the Archigram ethos superbly.
- Archigram - Experimental Architecture 1961-1974
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