ARCHIGRAM, Warren Chalk (1927-1987), Peter Cook (1936- ), Dennis Crompton (1935- ), David Greene (1937- ), Ron Herron (1930-1994) and Michael Webb (1937- ), were
especially active during the years from 1961 to 1974. The London-based group anticipated the global inter-relatedness of culture and technology and thus had an immediate influence on architectural discussions world-wide. The significance of their work for the international community of architects has long been recognised; in the early nineties they were back in the focus of debates about future urban life. Archigram’s ideas responded to space travel and moon landing, subculture and the Beatles, science fiction and the new technologies of the sixties and seventies. Their historical inspirations came from architect/artists such as Buckminster Fuller, Bruno Taut or Friedrich Kiesler. As a result, they created radical – often shocking – alternatives to cities, houses and other architectural archetypes. The pluralism of architectonic vocabulary, which is so typical of Archigram, includes collages of advertising images from the world of consumer goods, conglomerates of cities reminiscent of spaceships, or metaphor drawings on robotics and organic cityscapes. Their radical re-definitions of flats as “Capsules”, of cities as “Plug-in Cities” or “Walking Cities” (both 1964), and an aesthetic formal vocabulary that goes beyond functionalism had its repercussions on the contemporary art and subsequent avant-garde architecture not only in Europe but notably also in Japan and America. Japanese, American and Austrian architects in particular were in touch with the group again and again in spite of differences in their architectural approaches.
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