press release

The Design Museum is to celebrate the imagination and ingenuity of Archigram, the British architects whose dynamic and provocative vision of future life brought the pop spirit to the architectural avant garde in 1960s Britain, in an exhibition to be presented from 3 April to 4 July 2004. Vibrant, playful, optimistic and iconoclastic, the visionary architectural projects presented by Archigram in exhibitions, collages, drawings and films, played an important role in 1960s pop culture and have an enduring influence on architecture today. Archigram produced few buildings, yet its impact is visible in Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and in the work of Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. Archigram was founded in London in 1961 around a nucleus of young architects – Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. Inspired by pop culture, advances in technology and the belief that architects had a responsibility to develop new ways of responding to social change, the group rebelled against the conservative architectural establishment by launching a magazine – originally entitled ARCHI(tectural tele)GRAM, and later shortened to Archigram – to express its ideas. In 1963 Archigram organised a manifesto exhibition, Living City, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Archigram developed its ideas in increasingly ambitious visions of alternatives to conventional housing and urban spaces. The Design Museum will recapture the excitement and energy of the original projects, including the mid-1960s Walking City and Plug-in City, through installations, inflatables, films, inside and outside projections as well as hundreds of collages and drawings. Curated and designed in collaboration with members of Archigram, this visually spectacular exhibition will bring the playfulness and optimism of its vision to the Design Museum. Pressetext

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