Inspiration – Archigram

archigram image

I think that if I was to design the perfect room for me, its interior would resemble a sauna. Nothing but simple wood all around, and lots of built in shelves and chairs. My opinion on such things certainly does tend to waver and wobble, but in architecture, I tend to find myself fascinated with simple wooden and plain contemporary structures.

An exception to this would be my fascination with the instant cities, space capsules, and walking buildings of Archigram.

archigram walking city

Perhaps its a desire spurred on by Howl’s dreamy walking castle house in the Miyazaki film, but the images of the giant walking cities of Archigram carry enormous weight in my imagination. My sci-fi inspired dreams and wonderings seem almost to have been built in the minds of the Archigram group.

archigram living pod

Its mix of 1960’s utopian idealism, massive engineering, and a longing to domesticate technology into an everyday component of life is precisely what pulls me to it. And moreover it is the general joyousness through which Archigram attempts to use its work to effect revolution and social change that continues to hold sway in my mind. It is as though the members of the group believed they could approach and effect change on the social and political issues of the time through the design and construction of amusement parks.

The idea that a joyous, silly, fantastic dream-filled and positive approach to technology, the future and society can reverberate through the world and truly have an effect. This is a thought that really reverberates within and inspires me.

Archigram seems to represent an amazing point of flux that existed before the rise of post-modernity, reflexive pessimism, and the constant tensions between genuineness and consumption. For those who still wonder on the state of missing jet-packs and other imagined futures, the work of Archigram seems like the proper place to return to and re-evaluate the initial trajectory of our present.

archigram walking city