press release

This summer BALTIC celebrates the visually spectacular, vibrant and optimistic Archigram, the British architects whose dynamic and provocative visions of future life brought the pop spirit to the architectural avante garde of 1960s Britain, in Level 4 art space from 31 July – 31 October 2004. The exhibition recaptures the excitement and energy of Archigram’s original architectural projects, through installations, inflatables and films, and hundreds of visionary collages and drawings.

A combination of the words ‘Architecture’ and ‘Telegram’ and designed to convey a sense of urgency, Archigram was born around a nucleus of young British architects, Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb, in London in 1961. The group held the belief that architects had a responsibility to develop new ways of responding to social change, and rebelled against the conservative architectural establishment.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Archigram developed its ideas in increasingly ambitious visions of alternatives to conventional housing and urban spaces. Inspired by comic books, the Beatles, space travel and moon landings, new technology and science fiction, the group embraced the technological advances of the time with optimism. Although few buildings were realised, Archigram’s influence is visible in Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and in the work of Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid.

The determination of the group to forward the boundaries of architecture has ensured that Archigram remains an enduring inspiration, not only to architects and designers today but also in the wider world of popular culture which its members so enthusiastically embraced. This exhibition presents Archigram to a new generation. Pressetext

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Level 4
Organisation: Design Museum in Zusammenarbeit mit Archigram