'Bursting the Seams': The Evolution of Archigram's Nomadic Living Units 公开

Spencer, Chelsea Anne (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/z029p500w?locale=zh
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Abstract

It seems no accident that a renewal of interest in the 1960s avant-garde architectural group, Archigram, should erupt at this historical moment. Communicated through drawings, photographs and collage with an overarching pop sensibility and an often hollow relation to reality, Archigram's vision of the city was based on systems theory and imagined as an indeterminate kit of mobile, autonomous parts. Their conception of the home was based on the idea of a nomadic pod that would be invisibly linked to a computerized network of servicing and communication. Although their understanding of technology is often remembered as naïve, their notion of the city as network and the home as interface feels--and looks--familiar when seen from within today's information-based culture. Although the genesis of the idea of digital, information space arguably began as early as the 1960s, it was not until the 1990s that Internet technology was made largely accessible to the general public. So when scholars began to reconsider Archigram's ideas, such as Peter Cook's Plug-In City and Dennis Crompton's Computer City, it was within the context of the popularization of a new medium that would radically change our ideas of spatial habitation. The temporal correspondence of Archigram's revival and the emergence of the most significant technological development of our age points toward the importance of an understanding of the group's radical and unsettling designs. At this moment in the history of technology, it seems we are poised to reconsider Archigram's work with new insight.


While many scholars have found their seductive, extraordinary ideas about the city to be their most interesting and fertile contribution to architectural history, this essay focuses on their ideas of the home. It attempts to show how Archigram translated their notions of a living city into a formal arrangement-that is, the Plug-In City concept. It then explores the lineage of the individual living units, which were initially designed as components of the Plug-In kit-of-parts. Finally, it attempts to demonstrate how these home units gradually disconnected from their material contexts and increasingly came to rely on the idea of a network of "wireless" communication.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction...........................................................................1


II. Launching the Indeterminate City:

The Living City Exhibition and the Plug-In City...............................7


III. Unplugging:
The Capsule Homes, the Gasket Home and the Living Pod.............22


IV. An Ultimate In Skins:
The Cushicle and the Suitaloon..................................................34


V. Conclusion:
Bursting the Seams of the Material Environment..........................45


VI. Bibliography.......................................................................50

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