Archigram  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Archigram was an avant-garde architectural group formed in the 1960s - based at the Architectural Association, London - that was futurist, anti-heroic and pro-consumerist, drawing inspiration from technology in order to create a new reality that was solely expressed through hypothetical projects. The main members of the group were Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene. The pamphlet Archigram I was printed in 1961 to proclaim their ideas. Committed to a 'high tech', light weight, infra-structural approach that was focused towards survival technology, the group experimented with modular technology, mobility through the environment, space capsules and mass-consumer imagery. Their works offered a seductive vision of a glamorous future machine age; however, social and environmental issues were left unaddressed.

The works of Archigram had a Futurist slant being influenced by Antonio Sant'Elia's works. Buckminster Fuller was also an important source of inspiration. The works of Archigram served as a source of inspiration for later works such as the High tech 'Pompidou centre' 1971 by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Gianfranco Franchini and Future Systems.

"If we consider for a moment Christo's seminal work – the 'wrapped cliff' – we might see it in one of two ways: as a wrapped cliff or; preferably, as the point at which all other cliffs are unwrapped. An Archigram project attempts to achieve this same altered reading of the familiar (in the tradition of Buckminster Fuller's question, 'How much does your building weigh?'). It provides a new agenda where nomadism is the dominant social force; where time, exchange and metamorphosis replace stasis; where consumption, lifestyle and transience become the programme; and where the public realm is an electronic surface enclosing the globe" —David Greene

The group were financially supported by mainstream architects, such as David Rock of BDP. Rock later nominated Archigram for the RIBA Royal Gold Medal which they received in 2002.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Archigram" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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