lecture 5 – Archigram & Brutalism

Sir Peter Cook.. British Architect, writer and professor who was of great importance to the Architecture world. Starting with his group who came together in the 60’s called ARCHIGRAM. Some of their blue sky thinking designs are still credited today and may even be of influence in today’s modern living and sciences.

Although his designs were seen as radical, you notice him bringing them to the forefront of his productions when looking at his Art Museum in Graz Austria. His space ship organic alien style blue organ demonstrates a pod like inhabitant. With futuristic embellishments of LED fixtures, it illuminates and beautifies the design.

The group came together in cafes to discuss their publication and came across the name Living City, which is completely appropriate to the context behind their ideas.

Living City

A concept completely mad, but in a wonderful way. I’m astonished to believe that in the 1960’s ideas as far fetched and futurist such as these were being conceived. Ideas of an organic motion filled living space that can be transported to suit its needs as they change along with our earth, age and requirements.

The 60’s was a very exciting time, since the end of the World War, things were being rebuilt and in recovery, and during this time we were at our most inventive, spirits were high, with promises of a better future, people believed that the political side would change and people were excited for the chance for change, this was a time of youth, the young people were the future, but unfortunately once they arrived in the 70’s things went back to how they were.

Plug-In city

Is a concept that I actually like. Imagine if the specified sections of the earth were gridded with a plug in source of energy,  a motherboard if you like of sufficiency. A changeable fortress that could be recreated to suit changing social trends. I understand their brilliance with this concept. However, in order to be sustainable I believe there should be a specified number of square miles of this high energy platform, as we can so easily wipe out nature getting carried away. Moreover this would be a very expensive way to live, so down scaling and an ethical redesign of this idea I believe may crop up in the future.

functioned by giant cranes that are designed to reconstruct and dispose aspects of the mega structure,  units such as housing shops railways and car parks are disposable, this hypothetical fantasy city  is very similar to a machine, as it is operated by plug ins and networks rather than solidified and concrete structure.

Its easy to understand why these concepts where never given birth to. They are Mad, unrealistic designs that would take a stupendous amount of effort to maintain and resources would be extinct far quicker than we are already absorbing.

The ideas behind these designs were expend-ability, the idea of renewing things and keeping things current, so their designs were throw away architecture, an example of throw away materials we have today is the ball point pen, it serves only one purpose, cant be refilled and once it has been used it gets thrown away

Walking City

Walking city is the most realistic idea in terms of technology we have today, In a smaller scale we have already begun to produce similar inhibitions to test the living conditions of outer space.

Inflatable Living Spaces – Cushicle

When thinking of inflatables we often think of party’s, fun and temporary objects, we don’t, often, think of balloons being Architecture… and for good reason, we would immediately assume of their unreliability, their delicacy etc, but a few of the underlying strengths are actually, malleability, transform-ability, and compact-ability. These designs in the 60’s and 70’s were compromised by young Architects who used these materials and ideas as a way of rebellion and critique of the structured, angular and uncompromising forms of modernism. Artemel, A. (2013)

However, dismissed these ideas were, as there was seldom use for such structure. In today’s age of the 21st century, European Space Agency, has revealed their project plan and models to inhabit spaces on the moon.

The earth has a protective layer of oxygen and gasses called the O-zone layer this kept us alive by capitulating our oxygen supply, protecting us from gamma rays, balances the temperatures and forms a force field around us from flying debris in space. The Moon on the other hand has no such protection. So the team at the European Space Agency have almost taken the ideas from the 60’s architects and devised an inflatable dome space to be buried within layers of the moons surface, combined with the latest technology of 3d printing, which creates its on version of an ozone layer.

Inside the moonbase: The module has enough room for four people,. and includes an airlock so a suit mounted on the outside to make getting onto the lunar surface easy. The thick walls protect astronauts from radiation and meteorites.

You can see the Architects of the 60’s was a lot more bout the fun of a space, the 60’s appears to me to be a very spirit uplifting decade full of talent, wisdom and creativity. Moreover, this simple idea has developed into sciences of today producing a realistic living condition for such a harsh terrain.


Artemel, A. (2013) Retrospective: The incredible Inflatable architecture of the 1960s. Available at: http://architizer.com/blog/retrospective-the-incredible-inflatable-architecture-of-the-1960s/ (Accessed: 3 December 2015).


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