The Archigram Archival Project
Archigram are amongst the most seminal, iconoclastic and influential architectural groups of the modern age. They created some of the 20th century’s most iconic images and projects, rethought the relationship of technology, society and architecture, predicted and envisioned the information revolution decades before it came to pass, and reinvented a whole mode of architectural education – and therefore produced a seam of architectural thought with truly global impact.
The name Archigram (Architecture+Telegram) was invented to describe a home-made magazine put together in 1961 by the young architects, Peter Cook and David Greene, joining first with Mike Webb. This free-form magazine was designed to explore new projects and new thinking which were overturning the strict modernist dictats of the 1960s.
For the second Archigram magazine in 1962, Cook, Greene and Webb invited Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton and Warren Chalk, all working at the London County Council’s architects department, to contribute. As the magazine grew and its circulation spread, the six began working together on specific projects, such as the ‘Living City’ exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1963, and the Archigram name soon stuck to them as a group.
The astounding projects which they created drew on the technologies of the ‘Space Race’, the dawn of the digital information revolution, and the US-led consumer boom, to develop new visions of what life and society might be like in the immediate future. The projects included the famous Walking City, Plug-in City and Instant City, which variously proposed the use of pods, capsules, megastructures, inflatable or temporary components, cars, furniture, clothes and gadgets to replace conventional building forms – in other words, the inventive use of new technologies to rethink society and its forms of habitation. (read more)