11 Only Architecture Will Be O u r Lives Peter Lung and \Y/ill~ar~ Menkiig 31 Suicidal Desires Peter Long 53 The Revolt of the Object ~vrllifl~>r r~Ier1kir1g 65 Memories of Superstudio Cristiarro k r a l d o d i Frarrcia 73 A House of Calm Serenity Adolfo Na~alini 79 Journey to the End of Architecture Piero Frassirrelli 84 Reflected Architecture Superstudio: Historic Projects 95 119 1 9 6 6 6 8 . Superprojects: Objects. Superesistcnce: Life and Death 213 1974-78. Cities 175 1972-73. Superarchitecture: to the Rescue! 1969-71. Monuments. Supersimple: Elementary Architecture 228 Superstudio: Biographies 229 Superstudio: Exhibitions and Bibliography .

nrrtlhirs. I :: 11 . t o put thir~gs I I !Ij frrture irr w h i c l ~a l l arcl~itec~ure tuill be created w i t h a s i r ~ ~oct. arrd cue12 less could i t serue t o save one's otun soul. those activities ofdesigrr adopting perhaps the theory ofrrrinirrral force i n a ~ e r r e m"process l of rrdrrctiorl". SUPERSTUDIO. the errors ofnrarr arrd the bestiality of architecture.I $ ~ For those w l ~ o like . The oroblern therefore was that o f irrcreasirr~delac/~rrrenl frorrz . it is a "rrroderate utopia" t o frrragirre a riear In .Peter b n g Only Architecture Will Be Our Lives a ~ i dI V ~ l l t a mMenk~ng 111 thore years i t becarrrc uery clear that 10 contirrue t o dcsigr~ fiirrrrrr~re.ob~ecrsarrd similar household decorariotrs ruas rro solutiorr t o problnrrs of liuirrg arrd 1101 euerr t o those of life.. pyrarrrids. 196Y I J 5 I:. I t becarrre clear that rro beautrfication or c o s ~ ~ ~ e~rui ce r entfficiio7t t o rerrredy the darlrage of tinre. suffic~entspace to explore ~ndlv~dual groups or speclfic actlons In greater deta~l'Though the many e ~ h ~ b ~ t l and o n sdustrated catalogues have done a respectable 1: .ronl most g r a p h ~ caspects of these 1960s protagonists to today's pub11c The collect~veshows lack. ho\r. ourrelues. le I frorrr a srrigle desrgn capable o f c l a r r ~ r n gonce arrd for a l l the rrrotiue.i: fi 11 .ever. and bstly t o trnce (ultirrra ratio) n luhrre line rn the desert. are conuirrced that arcl~itecturcis one ofthefew wags t o realize cosrrric order on earth. t o order arrd abouc a l l t o affirtrr hrrrrrarrityi capacityfor acting accordir~gl o reasorr. . The Corrfirruous Morrunrenr: Atr Arrhirec~ural Model for Total Urbanrzation..r ruhich have irrdrrced rrran t o build dolrrrens. .

1972-73: SUI'ERexlsle~lce: Life and Death 4. Since none of these takes place in the distant past. While clearly a thirty-year hiatus suggests a certain amount of aging many of the principal actors remain highIv enereetic and active in the field while their works remain tucked we are ironically trawling into a new kind of pop-~rpculture! What remains to be seen.$ P fices goes beyond mere fashion trends. 196G68: S U I ' E W ~ C ~ ~ I C C I U ~to 2. Cities 3. and an essay on s u ~ e ~ u r u ~ rpenultimate o's moment on the larger international sccne ("The Revolt of the Object". 1 2 This publication is structured into two basic parts.' H A definitive and momentous transformation took place in the design and architectural environment by the late 1960s: the increasingly debilitating crisis in Modernist architecture would find some of its most laconic last acts played out on the drawing boards :. to turn back the pages of history to that previous era when a similarly ample crisis ripped through rhe world economies: welcome to Italy in the understanding SUPEIISTUDIO'S provenance and the group's relationship to the many cultural currents evolving through the European avant-garde in the 1960s. is whether the recent 1960s' revival emerging in the schools and in some of the more progressive of. This publication has therefore been planncd and organizcd to seme as a portable reference focusing primarily on s u ~ e n s r u ~ r o ' s critical writings i ~ relation r to their better-known body of designs and architecture. And just as Italy's cconomic miracle mary materials from this period are simply hard to come by: This is particularly unfortunate for SUI'BKIUDIO who seem to have acquired the role as the Radical movement's cover-child. For this reason we have decided to initiate an operation of recovery.spread its glacially translucent grid structures throughout entire regions of the planet enveloping buildings and entire cities. most of the original protagonists are still very active on the scene. these inlages can only partly convey the complete historical passage.12 iI job of d ~ s s e m l n a t l nand ~ consequently revlvlng the works of a predoni~nanrlvEuropean Rdd~calarchttecture movement over the last the world's apparently boundless resources is now having to fight to retain that dubious right. Peter Lang). s u l m STUDIO'S renouncement of architecture. While it's evident upon examining the material presented here that their most renowned images describe the momentous steps in thc group's philosophical development. Part I1 is divided into the following four chapters: E the Rescue! 1. the series beginning in 1969 titled The Conlinuor~sMonumen~.i p 4 $: 13 4 . Monuo1cnts. creating a monument to end all monuments. their conscious withdrawal from the perverse system based on the con~mercialisationof popular demand. was deliberately intended to strip architecture of everything except its most naked living truth. N o better moment. Piero Frassinelli and Alessandro Magris were sewed to indoctrinate society into an irrelevant culture of con- rators were trusted with their time and given open access to their remaining collection of projects and library. O n e of the most unexpected conclusions we as curators can draw from our invo~vementwith SUI'ERSTUDIO is just how conscious the group was from the outset of the historical importance of its investigations: SUPElUTUDlO maintains an impressive archive that from the start nieticulously docutnents the unfolding process of its critical research. though their current identities are not always transparently linked to their epic endeavours of youth. restituting in the process those projects and writings -critical texts and storyboards . 1974-78: s u ~ > e ~ i ~ n Elementary ple: Architecture In Part I1 each chapter engages in a specific historical moment and providcs related documentation on SUI~E~STUDIO'S theoretical and '1 L 1 '1 ! 1 $: ! 1. Cristiano Toraldo di Francia and Piero Frassinelli. Roberto Maeris. Each group challenged and eventuallv cia. 1969-71: SUI'Ellproj~ctr:Objects. then. in its current socalled free market state is spinning steadily out of control: the small percentage of the global population still able to command evocative images. William Menking).that are far less familiar but entirely necessary in providing a more complete understanding of the group's oeuvre. Part I features the nvo curators' essays exanlining SUPEIUTUDIO'S history within the Florentine context ("Suicidal Desires". ~reciselvhere in Florence. however. 'l'he timing for this revived interest in the 1960s' counter-culture is not that arbitrary either: we are again at a point where the convergence of technology and consumeristn. and includes the retrospective testimonials and critical reflections from three of S U I ~ E I ~ T U Dnlembers: IO'S Adolfo Natalini.' Scant little ning of the new millennium.

misreading. albeit with continental distinctions. Pettena's panoramic view of the movement correctly depicts the international exchanges. and local cultural wrangling.! practical responses. ."' Gianni Pettena. Finally Emilio Ambasz's conception for T h e Neru Dorncrtic Lorzdrcope makes the point that even \\. while devoting considerably less time to the msny provincial accents buried in the chaos of translation.ere several contradictory positions regarding the role of ilrchitecrurc and design -let alone radical politics. encounters and exhibitions.'" In effect. Radical architecture is an a m b i g ~ ~ omultive. Branzi's intent was to underscore just how insidiously the work of such a diverse num14 ber of subversive credos were penetrating the 1960s' mainstream The quickest link between the two groups SUPERSTUDIO and coming out of a particularly Florentine phenomenon that could. The goal is to publish the group's niost significant projects along with a related collection of images and their accompanying writings. nomadism. we believe.In umbrella definition for the Radical architecture movement therefore remains.. eclecticism. In- to Corretti. insists on giving the movelnent a more sinuously fluid radiance. we the scenes. storyboards and photos. conceptual architecture. one of the founding members of Archizoom..'' circle in the early 1960s. whose works result from far deeper frustrations characterizing the profession in Europe. iconoclasm. in the often-contradictory positions held by these distinctive activist groups. was asked by the Jolly gallery in Pistoia to mount a second show of his paintings in November 1966. another Radical player active at the time in Florence. writing in 1973. lent term that suggests different and clearly contrasting meanings. T h e weakness in establishing . neodadism. primitive technologies. This introductory essay will navigate through some of the peak episodes that mark SUPERSTUDIO'S architectural pro- the catchall phrase used to regroup the variety of tendencies that have aspired to shake off the liegemonic grip of modernist archius tecture in the 1960s. The Radical bind between the groups does not necessarily imply that there were common denominators linking one to another. While this publication is nor intended to become a catalogue raisonnk on the works of SUI>ERSTUDIO.ithin Florentine circle of visionary architects there \\. it has been conceived as a work of consultation and reflection. Austria and Italy. Here every atteliipt has been made to pair significant texts and storyboards to their corresponding architectural projects. through publications. Andrea Branzi. as clearly those who saw themselves as neodadists were not necessarily willing to also act as nomadisrs. the story of just how the two groups were founded is tied as much to circumstances as it was to a prescient vision. gave this impression on the breadth of Radical movement: "Today the term 'Radical' architecture assembles at the international level all of the eccentric experimentation with regard to the straight line of the profession: counterdesign. Paolo Deganello and Massimo Morozzi chose the des- his exhibition manifesto. weaving the 111g o r ~ o ~experiments ir of the Californian Radicals to the more self-conscious language emerging in England.

Natalini's thesis project on an art centre for Florence.ln Toraldo di Francis's university thesis set the stage for a scientific-based research. a work that he himself has qualified as a work benveen "pop and the monumental". who knew of a place to rent on high ground. such as collage. using technology as an interface medium for architecture." In need of a dry place ro work. Natalini immersed himself in the history of monuments. flooding Florence and the rest of the valley. SuPERSTuDIO laboured to establish three categories for future research: the "architecture of the monument". From Kahn. Andrea Bran28 and Masslmo Morozz. The architecture of the image provoked an extensive visual experimentation into techniques and appliques. 2 6 progressive visions on man and his relation to the built environment. In 1967 Roberto Magris entered the Bellosguardo office. . lagging a bit behind Archizoom. ICr#rliano Toraldo dl Francla 1s laklng the p ~ c ~ u r e l ! . influenced him to study Louis Kahn. the Arno river overran its banks. Natalini went to his friend Cristiano Toraldo di Francia.'~oraldodi Franciak thesis presented in 1968. appropriating from diverse sources. and as such producers of designs and objects that would be over-loaded with symbolism and poetic content. The second category. As SUPERSTUDIO'S designs confounded the sense of scale and objective significance. such as . cinema and dada. begun in 1964 under the direction of Leonardo Savioli. later developed with greater refinement in the competition for the Fortezza da Basso completed in 1967. an illustrated storyboard created to serve as "maps for orientation . on the architecture of the image. inspired the graphic-visual research behind the beguiling renderings that became the group's renowned signature. already developed as a form office. The making and shaping of these objects were consistently related to bricolage techniques.'' Over the course of 1967. assemblies from exisring manufactured productions. Natalini's 1966 thesis on the Palazzo dell'Arte served as the initial genesis for the group's work on the architecture of the monument. They were "super-operators".. The "super" code of conduct required that homes and offices of a prospecrive well-off clientele. adding his experience in working within the industrial design field. Natalini recounts how he found himself almost under water as he worked through the night on the graphics for the Modena exhibition poster. represented a dialectical investigation into technology and the evolving social realm..16 first date would have turned out to be catastrophic. Shortly aftenvards they founded together the first SupERSTuDlo office at Via Bellosguardo 1. a background that provided him with exceptional skills in writing and storytelling. This pictorial exege- /1 1 P~sloia. The storyboard narrative. pop art. and "tecnomorphic architecture". O n 4 November.December 196G Adolo Nalalnl. the "architecture of the image"." In fact. or adaptations from outside industries. in that they attempted to create more than a semblance of a legitimate practice." describing the unfolding relationship benveen natural and artificial environments. while all the while seeking to enzlsperate the per" charged actions." From these preliminary three categories developed the first major critical project proposed by SUPERSTUDIO:the Journey info theRea11n ojReason. the unsuspecting user \vould find him or herself bccoming part of the critical process of the design. it would take roughly a year for Adolfo Natalini and Cristi:mo Toraldo di Francia to collectively gather their forces to give a philosophical foundation to SUPERSTUDIO. an Italian national holiday. a "Machine for Vacations". Fmssinelli's university research combined anthropology with architecture. Piero Frassinelli joined SUPERSI'UDIO in early April 1968. SUPERSTUDIO really only appears in some kind of recognizable form some time after the second show in Modena.

"We prepared a catalogue of tri-dimensional non-contin"ous diagrams.. But all these things didn't matter much.j I with the four members posing at its base. abandoning the last vestiges of a market-driven architecture. the 5 thousand varlat~onson the theme of the four leaned chalr. nonetheless came in the shape of a riddle. nor have they ever mattered much. and consequently another level of poverty" '"Havlng recoenlzed the futllltv of the strategy. A sort of death wish so beautiful and entrancing that the message really didn't seem to matter. 19 . From the catalogue of histograms followed effortlessly objects.. I i 1!11 - - 1 i! /!i/I! /I/ /I! !t! 111 . . -. The image.suporr~d~o tn . a morbid group critique. Mantcllato olllce 1981 1 _ e m in had become powerful tool for all 11s bare slmJust l ~ k the pllclty. and an owl in the forefront gliding straight towards the viewer. The surface of such hisroarams was homo- j/l I were also called 'the tombs of the architects'". S U P E ~ T U D I Oretrenched. the addltlon of the histograms to the ij I i for other more pressing activities. furniture. s u P c n s T u D r o made yet another leap foniard. to engage In a life long " be in Every object has a 4 pract~calfunctlon and a contemplative one and ~tIS the latter that evasion d e s ~ g n1s seeklng to potentlate Thus there 1s an end to the $ 19th-century myths of reason as the explanation of everything. a catalogue of histograms of architmure with reference to a grid transportable in diverse areas or scales for the edification of a nature both serene and immobile in mhich we might finally recognize (re-know) ourselves. aero I ' 1' I!. environments and architecture." !. SUPERSTUDIO called for people " to live l ~ k eone long protest ". erasing once and for all I plest a physlcal bar graph.ha vfa ~ C I I L i these subvers~veobjects they reallzed " l n ~ t ~ a t ea dnew level of con sumerlsm..

.

7hlr.~l~rhs.reduced to the con<lirionof ncurro! and disposable elements) 2nd nor for objects. exccpt ~nsome cast. I1 . le f ~ c e din mirror-&ss.':"I ro produce a body of work which was more or less divided betwecn representing the form of . . I.in any event.. By the e n J of work.:$'~~.totnlly uselcss an11 by clcs~gnauto-destructive" ' ~ ~ ~nllchncarer to the Frampton's read on \ u P r n r l ~ ocomes group's original intent. sex n l ~ dhope.\lotrr~rnr. Once SUPLKS'rLDIO finlshcrl p r o d ~ l c ~ nthe lislicd a short uns~gneclreview on pagc 29 titlcd '12 Citti dcl futuro" ( I 2 cities of the future^.but instcnd J plisntom projection across."" g 7ir r9lve 7 ~ l r .ltions ilnposcd t.\lonr~t?ti9trt 35 3Jacobin ~rchitecture. ' u . ' Bcyoncl the rule of thc perforrn~nceprinciple" noted Framp.c mean tlie destr~ctionof their artributes of 'srarus' 2nd the conr~ot. where v~siblc.nntive para<ligm. onc step ~t t i ~ n e As Natalini cmphasizc~l "By tht. r~l that he recognized to be veiled bclou the image itself. b~.rro/thr.r to Italiar p ~ p e r s including . sleep an11 juy.~ltcre<l spari. 'l'he revieu~errum~rkccl. Thc inhi~bitnntsf ~ n dfood and (car. bfitrrmi.I world from which consumer goods had !xen elilninated Their work varied from the projection of v ~ s ~t m ~ c n e t r n bmeg. "'l'he i n h ~ b ~ t a nIlve t s ~n the machine endlessly drugged along Ijy conveyor bclrs. rthcy .os aI)out blind fnitli in rcclinological salvntion and the looming cffccrr of the A m c r i c a ~ ~ i z ~ t ~ o n or) hobitants.lnrl consumer gooJs. ~ I I 111s I commentary .e suggesting.il form occupying an existing Ian~lscope.3 strangely .'. \!. to thc <lcpicrlon of 3 sr~ence. 111ahnost evcry "lded" city the pre<lominant tlic~nuu.~r/ ~vasnor so cloakc<lin irony alld alnbigul. In \vIiich cveryone can reach <lifferenr gralles in the rlcveloprncnt of his possi.11 f i r . started in 1966 ~~y'~. ton.~l." Charles Jencks preferred to inrcrprct I%eCbt~trnt~utrr . C'utrt~trr~utrr. . to lack legibilirv turrnsrunro c<lnscio~~sly examined each u laycr ~n the proccss of <lesign 2nd arch~tcctureand butlt its alter.bur thcy know very death ~ n l anger.". \\.ten~por.I. h ~ c hthe philosopher Herberr Marcuse had alread) char.~tIi ~ A~lolfoNat~linifollowed.lr: I'rr~ttronitio."~~.lcprogrnmming o l the m ~ c h i n c . they will rncvitat>ly bc crushucl by 11s mach~nery. destruction of objects. hncl sent our scvera1 dozcn copies of the 7ir.y powcr.\lotrdu.iml)oss~ble:lnJ playfid archirectu~"An i n r c w .g~nning from equal starting i)oinrs. I1 . anti-futurisr :~ncltechnologicslly optimistic utopia . looking for n new freeeg~litarianm t e . .or.~lsoconfirms tl1. ~ c t e r i r c das defit~lng11fe In tcrms of instruments . . we m a n tlic elin~in:~rion of the accumulation of formal strucd tures of power .\lyrticol RL. so that we live w ~ t hobjects . unltu and divide 3ccording to the ~ncolnprehensit. ' i t 15 s ~ g .".~ e e 2 h D ' c " """e"" ' 'I ban sign and proclucing a scricr oivignertcs illustrating ..s . by chutes and pneulnaric tubes from tllc time of birth to rhc rilnc of death The machine takes c ~ r of e cvc~thing.\lutrdu's cultural c<litorduring tlicsc ycars wns l t ~ l o ZI .rcvo~utionorybu! despotic He failed ulrlrnately in recollciling tlic ironic self-cr~tquethat functione~lCIS a ~l~sorclering col~rrolmcclinnis~n Fur if Jencks was not convinced that the Monument's haunting mcss~gccoul<lbe so f.~l cont~nuu:~~. n~ficnntthat (~JI'LRSIUUIO chose to represent sucl~3 non-repress~ve world in terms of an arcl~itecruret h ~ was t virtually invis~blc.Kenneth Frampton's interpretation of S U I ~ ~ K S ~picked ~ D I O up on a counter c ~ ~ l t umessage. Dy thc elimination o i thc city. we mean the end of spcci:~lize~l on4 rcpcritive work Seen as an sewe~l:'' . ""' Lrlcr /or C'l.~lse. should not be ~nterprete<l as n monulnent. ' . appe~ringin the D ~ e l n b e rI971 I S S U ~of AD. " According to Frnml)ron.fictionIsndscape in which nature had been rcndcrcd benevolent '. u.g . surlLmrunro projecte<l n sllenr.here one might think of d c v i a ~ ~ n . bilities.rirtm.i'The whole operation.SUPLRSTUDIO.the elimin~tionof thc clty 3s Ilier~rchy~ n social model.o e ~ ~ ~ ~ n : ~ c l .birrhu/ Ur. Frampton may t.I 'Continuous Monument' as a mute ur.". well 11131if they get off r l i e o b l ~ g ~ r rou:es o r ~ established by the InJchine."l'hc 21ternativc 1)rol)os3lsby Super-studio' appear in succusslon Inscd on ar! im~ginary. l solnetimes also rcbcll~on.".lvL. Natal~ni. led by Adolfo Nntalinl. along the innumcrJbls routcs \vliich intersccr.

In 1972 I. beginning with the MOCIA show. Another cautionary tale? Also durine this time sulJaHs.what kind of influence would the svPEllsruD1o piece have had on Calvino if he had indeed read it in 1971 . ~ e rindecorously i~ neutralized layers of gratuitous his- logue. Calvino's short stories had a vast influence on the general public. SUI'ERSTUDIO'S incursion into the world of film begins far from earth: evcrvrhinn.~are the histogram objects that penetrate the galaxy.ruolo began the production of its I background In one rnemorable scene w h ~ l ethe rhythlns are heard n~elodlcallvIn the backeround the astronauts. seen feedme on reconsideration of domestic space. not to mention a whole generation of architects.the coincidence nonetheless renlains intriguing. a reconsideration of thc relations between the process of design and the environment through .~iein which the real protegonis. . desert landscapes and people in the act of fa- the effects arc indeed at times simplistic. but nonetheless powerful precisely because the hypcr-gadgetry of space-capsule life is suddenly reduced to a tribal ritc. SUPERS.'" This project.i id pi .I Though the connection remains speculative .In alter~lativemodel of existence". As they describe it is " . SUIXI&UDIO. to switch roles. sought to re-conceptualize the position of urchitecture altogether They discarded the role of the c r e n o r the d e signer. the architect. ~ a . urhich portrays a youthful sybarite world of nomadic pleasures not enslaved to designed objects of mass consumption but free to experience their a nostalgia precisely for primal knowledge on earth. each super- Their ~ n s s f l o rplastic ~ lamp was selected by the show's c u n t o r Emilio Ambasz for the "Obiects" section of the exhibit."She is depicted sadly marooned amid her appliances on r small grass island in the middle of a plane "wirhout any messages in bottles". Instead. co find architecture in one's olun life. .UI'EIISTU!JIOoarticioated in thc Museum of Modern to remove all commercially driven clutter from the object. "from the moon to the planets is archi- "no intention of doing withoutn. which took the form of a small plastic model. the group moved to espouse the complete reversal of the normative condition." A poetic re~niseerr sci." The images reproduced in the catalogue ore nine variations from their film project Life. Srrpcrsurfnce and remain one of their outside this burdensome dichotomy. In the catalogue this image is the foil for another. I' 1 torical symbolisms associated with the making of monumental ar- V ? k f iijjl $jilt fi!ig (jp . repeated ro infinity in a cubed light box. o r the architecture: as in their FiueSuburbor~I'illos project. In addi- titr~rorrsr M o .lroin. T h e Disinril Mou.rUDIOcollage their slick drawings of satellites.

you c.rc project suggests some very inrerest~ngaltcrnntive p ~ h to s folio\\. year: The illustr:~tedtcxts for thc Frfih Ftorda111e.. and Death. Bctr: I. was screened for the MO\IA exhibition TI>?Nero Do.energy conscrvntion. of course. I\rcliitecturc relnains 3t the limit.it. a sliort-IivcJ but s~gri~ficont mcctlrlg of niirids bcrwccn rlic far flurig rncmbcrs of the Radical .hat S L I ' E R ~ T U D ~ ~ brought to their phase of research was the intcrisivc desire not to repeat the forrnul~t h ~ would r onl) serve to prolorig the conuncr~ 1 3rnnrkct.111.' C P ~ L ~ I Iwns IOI~) shot IIVC ~n Florcncc the follo\v~n. succeeded In cleansing ~ r c h i tccture of all so-rces of contamlnntlon The only quancl. St~prrrt~r/acc and Ccre. never renl~zcdw:rhln r h ~ ss:lmc enselnble. orily I.r) were completed in f ~ l ~version. to t l ~ prlm. Lo1 C. Carrhrllo published $I'PEIL%TL'DIO~ ttor y b o ~ r d s~ n texts d for t l ~ cF I I CF1~11da. Ct. the work of x P c u n r ) ~ oentered by fiar into 3 seconcl plirse ~ r wliicli i the group.r/c. reconsrirutcs thcmselves as best 3s the) cln. the fundnrnen131 tliclncs of our lives.rrt.rlirough .~rrtrcLn~~drcapc ~n 1972.int-gnrdc architect f d s one of the nost r~gldlyhxed roles dike the young lover 111 p l .r~Co~tt~~tt.thc differcnce Ires only in the quantities i r ~ of ltv~nghnvc 31rc3dy hcen made.irchitect that of :~riacadernlc or re:~ction.r/e.~trr Alo~tIO?IPN~. The resc3rcli and tcrial Cultt.r/.Ire nberr:lnt or evn.:r.Icfr srrs in motion such a level of dcstabtlization that there would in f. ~ y s ~ . a collage anllnntion with its flnnl scquencc filmcd outdoors in nature with n )oung couple.hen ) o u have the chance ro hcgln all over. After 1973. d conternplntes the existence of rhc architect. The move cotr~cidedwith rhe co-tounding ot Global Tools 111 1973..I tempts to rake arcliitccturc onto n dlffcrent philosophic~lplnte.~o.iction poss.11Act Death wns set to a slidc show a t t h nn audlo soundtrack."" SUI'LIISTUD!~.t. Edtica!to. 3 r d multiple uses.in inrensivc aca- Solo charr dcrnically founded stilrl) on the making of peasnnt tools and sheltcrj. thv decisions on the Accepting his rolc.:. distributed recourses.~rchitccturelnovemcnt. nonetheless moved parallel with the S U I ~ C R \ur~ro's I sccond phase oiproduction.~ry nrcli~tcct. The prolecr.iry that \\. . usually when hchnviour 113s dreadYbeen entlrely codified..n. is what does In fact arcli~rccturclook likc \\. Renvecn 1972 2nd 1973.ndousscope ~ n vision.~to~ty. now.7l .lr) c building blocks ~hemsclvcs. arid Intcrvenes only 31 3 ccrta~ripoint in tlic process. This tent~ttveanthropologicnl and ph~losophicalfound.hut nlso the rigours of poverty. 'rhc FILCF ! l ~ ~ d r ~ t ~Acts ~ ~ ~\\. liowcver. co~~tplrt on Iifc. sUllEalulIto's rn3nifcsto states: "Architecture never touches the great thelnes.ble :~fterwnrds.auld r e m a n .1~1he ~lrnostno recourse to . play. Rut it should be c l e x that \\. by shifting llle ~ O C L I of S the11 resenrch on. n SNpr..no sequel truly possible. Llke the one for T/>/. of tre~nc. It Iielpcd to dcvclop liantly creative i r i the use of rcc)cled matcri~ls. 26 strurncnts nccuratcly predisposrd to avold nny dev~arion 'rhc working-class holnc rcsernbles a st3tcly vllln in the sarnc 1t13y3s tlie dcsi<n of 3 Radical .in move freely 3cross the lsndscnpe rns~den clty of tlic mind' File Ftrndarnrtifol . \vhcn you c3n expcrlencc 11 through merely I l v ~ n when ~ . Their collecrivc s t r ~ t c g ~ ethough s.ere t .oriented 1 cxplolt3tion of the deigrl profession Of course tlils would he hy riow irnposs~blcto persevere.rn. Coriccivcd as :an experimental film opus. the W I I II ( . 7 1published In series in rtor) honrd forrnx.iriori of architccturc becomes the centre of our reductive process. the stor)boards for the I:r~cF I O I ~ ~ I I I Lwere ~ Nd~~ ~d ~/ c~t ~i cC ~ T In nnturc. one lnlght nrgue. given the rnentir~griot just the style of life 111 the far renchcs of the Italian cour~tryslde. the nrchitcct bccolnes nccornplice to the rnachu~at~or~s of the system Then the av. furnishing answers to rigidly stated problems Even if 11s answers . ns Peter Lang polnts our in Su~cirlnlDesirss".

.rrcrrrr nalrnb. rcprinted in /'I.~?rd:Arrr ?brc. 2001).. sibly Ins h r r n ~ f uonly l bcMureurn o f Modern Arr (New York: .. This process of repeatedly and critically re-esamining the normal drifts and currents moving across the domestic landscapes has led them to design.siuoto. " A.Aleaarndro Poli i n 1970.. 1973. inrcr!..lr. (no..rrro.r cent ~nrervieu. lb.dogue(Ilorrncc:iM&IM.r u ~ > ~'His~o. hibirion cnr. Brrnzi.I rc~l. The (%d. This is onc oi rlie srgumcncr developer1 in Peter Lnnx's essay "Sui. 1r.I~chitcc~~~r(~..~~~nI~~ del. "Supcrr~udio: c u r e ir seldom gels builr.rerction of thc anti-archi.>nne.lli[~i iFlorcncu.\. dr Ve.rh. s u ~ r t a .lnal.~~ostn. rcconsrirured ir.my rmdly:oups a.Pcrrenu. : Pop-ups ure thole n.115.rd 1 Kad?c~lr..rl~~pri~sfuc.ir11 Adolfo h'.i(. Arch.Riley.:~rr.llc. 80).>n: CdiS.Jt~nuoryinternrrionsl journals and metx: 'IIo\r. Archr/c~!~. to its soundrmck.iew wtrh Crnstl. Brrnri strc>serlin . coined by Ccrmnno CrLnr to describc . ~ i o r r n i Wr. l e c t ~ r e l 6~ O he L PIIS\YCI 10 agon. Dcyonp.t.~a(no. : ' .lng.lm Menkinx. 2002).~rsinelliin 1968 mdicdcnle icir.mg.r. Frb~nces Urunror 1rdns1.t~~iuoto. opniznble lungudgc" r n d rhdr ir encornpurred ". "M~. hibir. 7 December 2002).ttcd highly respec14 nnlong [he b l ~ i o ocnh~logue. though il is porC.ir.~tely to un-design their surroundings like no other group before or after them. Orlztndini.iUo.tr.iblilun: Docu. rrcbi~cc~urei~~.elf i .. :" I'erer b~.c.rgbigo/~/1~~computur screens. o. ~n1.~~irrbc. ingly jumping onto the ~ i l ear the endless fondling 2002): 7'brCl~n.~bro.lncl. X r 5 7 ) .eshi. 481.sr~~. Knrding~helrdlidnRroupa.. " rbrd 2.thclla. ~ f ~ r r ~r b c l l o r ~ w r d G i / ~ ~<. m d Almsandm M a g r ~ s ~ ~ n"d Roben Vcnruri..rr.~g~/n. "Archicer~uia rccrurc 1960/75". "lnrroducPeccr L.\ruolc tcrts from Radical community.r~clrrre .e. the individual "pieces" as it would be the process itself. Percr L ~ n y l i ~ ~ ~ l 0 f ~ u 1 ~ 1 3bucn.llion voice avcr. 1972.lvu. ~ e ed.11~:Design and Archifoundcn in 1966. e x h i b i ~ i o l l " F o r n de~uileddircuns~on other excrmlc i n the orhcr on the contemporaly Icgil.~ h e r u r h o nbeliwc.G~rrdc. and requires further res~omcion. m. L. mucll emphasis on thc L.ru IY68-IY8Y. magazines.mg iMil.ilh soundrrack. ed. xlng lirrle lnrerner rdver.un. Inrritut d i r r con.mr rubdccicr rr chc Ava~ir-Gurdc.e\. r m n i Print.igbrg 0 tinuourMonluuc~~t". i n Arc11.com. I~L. 'The Con.l'.l e l i a n ro C n ~ l i r hfor thc qu~cklocriricire~hcmoveI C I ~ I ~ M ~ I > .~p t o o n ~ u c b n r c h i ~ e c ~ u r e . vr.Du. D .~. i n T.erL.er.moricao f ciun".lrcc.rrolc . . Roberto "'C.l: Di. cx. xrsms".Villcursulan.re dell. I4 Decembcr 2002) " For rhe lncn>hcrs o f 1982.lortr"l.. concetved ro displt~y primsrily thusis projec.. Sourif.. York: a!oat. " {hid ".14). i r too A aut. cxh~hirlon tisenlenrr chsr ere increar.18--19. \vho.ngits ~pllyscc~l em- York: bodimenr..r L. in' ' 28 ic.~ (Filotrfilno.c writlngr \r. 1974.d Anchor Uookr. ri. 19).i.If SUI~EWTUDIOhas succeeded in contributing to any particure it would be not so much lar lesson to inventing a f ~ ~ t uarchitecture. no erclliblay ZOO1 iBlrcclon. producerl by " lhrrl 248. Urban Foturc". aut~t.~. Arcl~irccrrrriDnirm. Rouillard. i n VI b b g r i r joincd i n 1967. rm~rof~iDirp. !r.Picro Fr. ~r.~noTorsldo d i Fr.. rcnce: Ven~ll.llogoe (Flo.1996). or perhaps more appropri.. c r i t i c r ~look l at the objects that surround our lives.) \rhole r n n ~ e 2002. Irrrerplioi~~~u~.r.th Dcyong plsced roo hlonumenrContinu 1969". ofiirelev. .Lf\.1<b. Dcnisc It B.lr "not . \/I/iria. Sco~rBmunnndS~wcLen1' 011 lcfi rhc group in 1972.rrenirrri. tnenti di C..in rhc 1990s lo b c r ~ c r a bix rhcmc . Ne\v York. inturvieiv a. We are far enough along again to perform similarly criticnl interrogations and we hope as the editors of this project that SUPCRSTUDIO'S contribution may be to take another.s. u t ~ ~ a m o ~ "Invendon o.iez. 11). the strict critical vision focused on their own roles in the much larger chain of production..' Nuvoncand R. Thc cy o f aut'altiruolo rec D . l'ct~.l rion (Ne\r. wcrc b.C.i(/r.per/ior merabolis~r'influences re. of arustic pracricer.n. ' Sar. i n 1986.ithour t ~ d ~ c r i h t h c s p e c ~ f i c r n .April 2001. Dccember 1969). dirbdndcd g~ncrrl. mafizinm. ..ICJIO~~~. Redicale". our.c 6 1 ~ ~ 1 Oadminirrcr : ixr current and 1Villi.1 It~clical ' 'I'he ~ u m "lndicitl". 31).

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That \vould be the accomplishment of the post-war governments. only a siren-like song seems to penetrate the ambient stupor. nor sufficient safety regulations to ensure proper building methods.' In many aspccts SUI'ERSTUDIO was formed just as their name implied. As Siegfied Kracauer noted. cannot be linked to a specific student movetnent .. as a "super-office". The gro\\~ingprosperity within the Italinn society exposed ever-deepening rifts urithin the communities at large. the university administered itself as the pedantic gatekeeper of this very same cultural legacy. whose laws were designed to promote private investments to the exclusion of all else.' This gradual slide towards social breakdown was brought into explicit view through the work of some of the country's most creative cinematographic artists. Private initiatives in housing were given a "free hand". creating in 1963 Eight and a Hnlf. The primal recall remains an insidious reminder of a simpler past. SUPLRSTUDIO'S genesis. Italians were becoming more mobile. in fact. finds its inception in Florence's rebellious youth culture.. Economic expansion came late relative to other European countries. a symbolic metaphor that would find its echo in the reflections on che builc environment among the young generation of architects who would form the nucleus of sUl%l<n'ut11().' The results were catastrophic. with sl>eculative buildings spm\rrling randomly through the urban peripheries and under reinforced buildings tragically collapsing in known high-risk earthquake zones. The story of SUPEilSTUDfO. but adapting to this new consumer-oriented lifestyle inevitably meant ruptures to traditional habits. a design and architectural office that happened to have an extremely deep and foreboding sense of history and belligerent behaviour. During the 1960s the student population in the national university system doubled to half a nill lion students. But these epic themes also can be seen to reflect tnore formulative life trajectories. Federico Fellini turned the camera on himself and his profession. These themes informed the un- derlying critique that constituted the group's thoughts and actions from the initial founding in 1966 to thelate 1970s. Yet to understand SUI~LRSTUDIOit remains essential to understand the university climate that existed in Florence during the 1960s. constructed a spiritually deprived vision of postlinked to a devastated landscape war Iraly that was her~neticall~ of smog-choked fiactories and polluted landscapes. "the more life is submerged.32 Fascist regime contributed to the invention of Italian mass society. neuroses. a spectacularly personal inquiry and psychological confession on the existential state of cinema and society. more urban. adequate service facilities like parks or parking lots.whose beginnings are announced in the historical staging of the 1966 Superarchitectnre exhibit in Pistoia. which unseals its withdrawnness and puts its pieces back in place. but did not construct a mass consumer culture. SUl~ElaTUDlOelaborated on the grand themes of alienation."' Aesthetic manifestations depicting the general malaise of Italy's upwardly mobile classes and alieliated youth increasingly surfaced in the arts and in cinema by the mid-1960s. therapy and the visceral fortns of suicide. After La r l o b vita was released in 1960.' Over the course of their activities. Michelangelo Antonioni in his 1964 film Red Desert. rationalization. precisely because the generation of students who completed their e d u ~ l t i o nthere were marked much differently than else- modernization. These are therefore the issues to follow in order to get to the heart of suPel?srumo's deeply internalized rebellion against architecture. 'rlie entire national university was put to test in the 1960s. As the characters move with empty gestures through Red Desert's world of manufactured sensations. more enatnoured with their object world. as well as intergenerational conflicts.the six members of the group did not come from the same ideological background or belong to the same student tablished its characteristic identity. pressured by students and many of thc faculties to renovate the archaic . urith no co~itrolsplaced on land uses. providing sufficient momentum behind the rise of a mass student culture. the more it needs the artwork. but the symptonls of estrangement among the post-war Italian middle classes bore the common traits of similar Western industrialized countries. The different directions. and thc more innovative faculties found themselves isolated if not removed from participating in the city's architectural and urban development.

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for Architectural Studies (MSA) was founded in Milan in 1945 with the goal of opposing a traditional academic education.. went largely unchallenged by the city's traditional planning strategists. Many younger Italian architects joined efforts with Zevi in reconstituting the Roman scene. Over thc next decade. heavily darnaged during the German wartime withdrawal on 4 August 1944." In Manfredo Tafuri's opinion the ensuing proposals for the heavily damaged areas ".. Zevi's American connections and deep dedication to reforming Italian architectural culture had immediate impact on post-war debates. reconstruction proceeded quickly.if also least recognized -grounds for architectural commercial districts abandoned to more ad hoc rebuilding meth- Benedetto Croce. Adalberto Libera and Luigi Moretti among others. Mario Kdolfi. developed an urbanistic architectural language that. through the sponsorship of IN. Florence would also have its opportunities to grab the centre of the debate. O n e of the challenges was to re-evaluate and re-conceprualize a contemporary architectural style that could reconcile both Modernist and Neo-classical contaminarion from rhe Fascist period. did not gain much public support. In 1947 the Milan Triennale opened its VIII edition featuring the most recent post-war developments in social housing and urban reconstruction. The MoveInent. Ernesto Narhan Rogers took over Dornrrs from G i o Ponti in 1946 and then moved over to launch an improved Casabella-Corrtinuit in 1954 (the magazine remained under his direction until 1967). succeeded in promoting the development o f a n urban-scale hybrid Modernism combining labour intensive craft-work with advanced concrete frame technol~gies. the second concerned the equally disappointing manner in which the city expanded to ~iieetthe growing populatio~iand manufacturing needs in rhe same period.led to feeble and greatly colnpromised reconstruction of the histori- . The Lombard city was already predisposed to developing a Functionalist and Neo-rationalist style of architecture to plug the many damaged sites.~ The urban fabric in and around Milan was heavily damaged during the drawn-out allied bombing campaigns. H e quickly established under the aegis of AI'OA the first "organic school" in Italy inspired largely by Frank Lloyd Wright. There are three kcy aspects that when collapsed together help explain the peculiar condition of Florence's conflictual artistic and architectural culture in the post-war period.36 gree. but it seems that each occasion was squandered by internecine quarrels among bitterly competing interests. As the country's major economic centre. the State-subsidized housing authority. Milan's publication houses quickly became the principal platforms for national debates on the future of Modernist architecture. The first was the failed reconstruction of Florence's city centre. conceived with the participation of the Milanese members of CIAM.\-Casa. the third was the significance of the student activist lnovements in directly and indirectly contributing to reconstituting the School of Architecture into one of the most openly receptive . T h e development of the city's regional master-plan. while Leonardo Savioli's more timid Micheluc- Ricci.

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Florence was primarily an artisan-manufacturing centre with a very powerful shopkeeper middleclass. students moved in smaller circles: but one event in 1966 would act to pull the \\thole architectural community together the past." Over the Ions term. The planning for the first Superarcl~irecrr~re exhibition in Pis- the Arno valley as an enormous lake. dle class were incapable of seeing beyond the city's customary traditions. others never came close.Radical architecture is born in the occupied university. the point may in fact not have been whether the reforms to the university system ever were entirely successful. assemblies. And then of course there is the historically rich city of Florence. Students attending the School of Architecture in Florence in the 1960s had a much harder time finding work.. all-night sit- Kaprow. Maria Gloria Bicocchi's gallery Centrodiffusionegrafica on Piazza Saltarelli (later to become a d t a p e s 22.'" T h e students and the faculty engaged in a decade-long ideological battle over the substance of a contemporary architectural education and this critical discourse undoubtedly succeeded in recasting the fundamental issues of the Florentine school. now buried deep under metres of mud and debris.bly energetic." But in less than a flash. performance artists like Allan tions threw the two events out of sequence. the city's artistic community had been taking important steps towards building a receptive place for an alternative contemporary art culture. the sound artists from l3uxus.. Without the distractions of the big city setting. There would be little time for Archizoom and sUPER5'TUD10 to evolve between the two . or protesting national policies. The prolonged struggle for educational reform is to be credited with furnishing the powerful rhetorical ammunition exploited so proficiently by the Superarcbiterlure generation. Scenes ments of artifacts from the river? sediment and painstakingly handling them like birds caught in an oil slick were emotionally stirring. Florentines were gradually becoming acquainted with the most important players on the European art circuit. some reforms were achieved. more events and experimental projects. Alessandro Mendini's land of "Good design" could be almost anywhere 42 If in fact Florence was hopelessly blocked by traditional conventions.. the pre-eminent video centre featuring the likes of Bill Viola) was one of the first galleries to bring internationally acclaimed artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol." Piero Frassinelli opined: ".. but ultimately a setback to the cause. One lives there and one sleeps there . o r getting swept into working class struggles. with extensive meetings. With all the talented artisans and small manufacturing in a state of existence that was neither reliably authentic nor confurniture and leather luxury goods for the upper classes. whose entire economy functioned outside of major industries like Milan or the huge bureaucracies like Rome.

sentative medium itself, as it does from their subversive message.
SUPERSTUD~O
from beginning to end stripped architecture down
to i n most essential meaning.
SUI'ERSTUDIO requires additional levels of reading, precisely because there are degrees of deception constantly present in their elaborately assembled images and projects. Their highly seductive and
visually pleasing visions tend to veil a biting critique collaged just
below the surface. Each stage of their work is meant to eel back
another layer of social paralysis, of futile dreams and debilitating
social infrastructures. SUPERSTUDIOworked from positions of deep
familiarity, destabilizing from within each and every aspect of the
architectural discourse. Florence, as one of the most significant artistic destinations o n the 19th-century Grand Tour, finds itself transported in the work of SUPERSTUDIOinto a dimension of science fiction, history's other." Twelve Carrtionary Talesfor Christmas: Pren~o,ti!io~ts
of the M)~sticalRebirth of Urbanism, apart from its anti-utopian visions and very personal form of inquisitiveness, refuses
to celebrate the role of architecture and urban design in the construction of city lile.'" The exquisitely drafted sections, axonometrics and illustrations depicting the twelve cities reassure the

Piero Frassinelli, seem in the end to be much closer to a critique
o n the present than evocations for the future: the twelve scenes
unfold like exaggerated projections on some of o u r most common
obsessions, where consumer culture goes blind, bureaucracies go
mindless, high-technology pacifies. This may also be interpreted
as a critique of Americanization, a rising hen omen on in the contemporary Italian scene. The suggestive subtitle, "SUPERSTUDIO
evoke nvelve visions of ideal cities, the supreme achirvement of twenty thousand years of civilization, blood sweat and tears. The Final
Heaven of Man in possession of Truth, free from contradiction,
equivocation and indecision; totally and forever replete with his own
PERFECTION ...", implies just such a world specially made for you,
with no need to do anything except to find the button. The project was not really about anti-utopias, but was SUPERSTUDIO'S
stark
premonition on where contemporary trends were leading.
office had schizoFrom 1966 to 1973 the SUPERSTUD~O
phrenically advanced by pursuing o n one hand pragmatic and successlul furniture designs, train cars, residential and commercial
buildings (the group could count o n the industrial design experience of Roberto Magris), and on the other by progressively dissecting those very same projects to reduce the variations, to
streamline the waste, to eliminate all clutter. The process devel4s oped into a series of checks and balances, whereby the theory en-

trolled and modified. This is what Adolfo Natalini referred to as
"theory

+

practice

+

theory check", that ran into all sorts of

This may well have been an inevitable outcome for a research
project that began with the typological ordering of architectural
monuments, images and ambient technology; and gradually spread
farenough out to bring into its orbit a world of objects and buildings, of monuments and landscapes, until nothing remained untouched by its reductive powers. SUPERSTUDIOdutifully maintained

us want to change ... but also allow us to retreat back to the con,.
fort of our real homes, our heavy objects, our annoying lives.
But from 1973 on, coinciding with Adolfo Natalinii teaching
appointment at the School of Architecture in Florence, the group
moved in hvo different directions. It was a moment of deep reassessment. The individual members began working more independently on different types of projects, but also moved into the
academic research and teaching. Natalini's class, taught with the
assistance of Alessandro Poli, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia and Piero
Frassinelli, investigated the everyday use of objects in contemporary culture. Under the title of Ex~ra-UrbanMa~erralCukure,students were asked to return to their local family origins, and help
anthropologically document the material culture slowly disappearing in the countryside. Natalini's famed lectures on the walking stick -he boasts a large collection of handmade and manu-

48

The course in effect initiated a second phase in the SUPERSTUDIO
oeuvre; whereby there is a concerted attempt ro find a way to reconstruct the bare elements of a new architecture.
T h e anthropological research on primitive Italian peosanr culruse, its tools and shelters, was one of the few projects of its kind
going on during these years. Considcring the massive scale of the
fami exodus into the 1960s, the real risk, that has since proved
founded, was the permanent loss of a highly sustainable lowgrade human ecology. E s t ~ < r - U r b o1'4oter;ol
,~
C ~ ~ l t r ibears
re
little resemblance to the fanfare and hoopla created around the 1973
Global Tools symposium, which remaincd transfixed by consumer
culture. SUPERSTUDIOinitiated Histog~a171s,back in 1969, with the
intention of reducing design and architecture to a single threedimensional manipulation of surfaces. When SUPERSTUDIO began
its study on the design of silnple multi-functional utensils in 1973,
it w:~snot to design a better and more marketable product bur to
de
that were uniquely versatile.
find proven l ~ w - ~ r a technologies
The peasant farmer Zeno, in his native home in Tuscany, rebuilt a bent-wood chair from the turn of the century, piecc by
piece, over the course of about fifty years. Every reiteration presenled the chair's proportions and function, though each time thc
artifact was slightly modified. The goal of the research was to documenr and le:~rnfrom these extraordinary human experiences; but
this phase of SUIJEI(STUDI~'S research lacked the checks, balances
and earlier ironies that might have successfully lifted this project
back on to a more international platform. A broad overvie\\, of the
project including many examples drawn from tlie student research
was later mounted at the 1978 Venice Biennale to exhibit the category of Architecture, under the title of l'roject Ze11o. This strangely Heideggerian vision of the new world, a familiar revisiting of van
Gogh's contemplation on a pair of peasant shoes, suggests a project that nonetheless reconnects with the r e c l ~ r of
t ~ architecture.
SUI'ERSTUDIO also presented The WiJe o J L o t , consisting of a
welded iron table and moving tower designed to hold a fluid pouch
filled with water. A tube dripped water over five salt nloulds representing the historical stages of architecture: the pyrsmid, the
coliseum, the basilica, Versailles and the Villa Savoye. With time,
as in fact was the case, each of the salt moulds disappeared, a
demonstration on archirecture's inevitable dissolution. This project more than anything else physically embodied the dilemma of
;~rchitecture'sephemeral existence, \vith the additional tension
(hat such a delicately framed iron and s;llt structure produces by
sitting at the edge of Venice's Grand Canal. The artifact has since
been lost, but its idea lives on as the anti-monument dedicatcd to
the mother of all monuments.
The strange combination of professional practice and theoretical insurrectionism; of profitable industry contracts and sarcastic

I

assaults on consumerism; of global fame and peasant culture, are
the conflictual relationships in a body of research committed to
engaging mainstream society. Thc members of S U I ~ E R S T U Dhave
~~
sought t~ discover the way towards making a better society, made
up of individu:~lsresponsible to their communities, critically cog.
nizant of their natural resources and shared cultures.
The fundamental issues from the group's early beginnings Xrcere
all directed towards a c r ~ t i q i of
~ ea hegemonic modernization: N ~ .

If the architect cannot become architecture, is there anything left
but to take one's leave of the stage?

' P Ginsbow, ,I Hirtnn $
Corilc~,~pomn
lia(i8 (Lon.
rlon:l'cn~tlinhoks, 1990.

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~nr and ~n~r.. toia ilxir." R c o l t i dcl corrruire". largcnumbcrof fore~jinrnlimr Arrbiiecl.nr orld admission by btlr Press. licr .from nII social clurrer. Dcg.~l\vayso f Franci. i ~ ~ i (no.7.ore iaccorion \\.nnae: their demands were to opco the univeoicy ryrrcm co~?. 287. lemi per una nuovn maggior~nza". 1221.lrian from Mondndari. rei L%!ng. Rq. i n Gmhrllir-Co.\vi~hrnsrr . 3MI.ecnrible toercr)nne.inirric h c r locked i n the hitndr of rhe itngr IL?Nt~:tone.rc.denrr from a v. rc\. Capo. " On the agenda were r l o dcnrs' demilndr to reeon. ar well as r " Fontan2 (cit. Cnrre".toia fc. Bur they were prerenr e.79 IN. " G l i Anni Qui~rnnvn'.lfuri. LO deal with thc wpid 1r. Crahell<r-Cot.:Thc \r. national-levcl policicisn Con. ~ r m i n such abandon and misery". with C r ~ t h n oT o r ~ l d odi ilndrhitr iiirno~theprecire Francid (Filortmno. 401. Dcripns b y Arch!.and i ~ ~ ~ d e ~ u ~ ~ c e r .JerricaLcvinc tors thsc lily behind Fla~ n c e ' rgrowing ppulnriry. M Filer (no.oked them to occupy the rec~or'roffice on Plap Z I San Marco in 1964.ri.~as part of the group 111. war quite . 1998. Florence drew xu- ns to upen tire thesis pro- \r.tr occupicd the rector's office. cdr.tcb jii\. ingtoCrirri.m reaching arrir~antr.ulello. verri~y. n. 35. 1991. foornore 37).er merropoby focu.enlml: mentarion inro the cir?. i n M . lvlily 196-1. > ~ . c. Aho see M . war pcriod (500rrudcnrs ln 1958 to 1500 in 19661. and Tonddo d i Frenci. 47. 1%. 'I. ami~h srbour lifly othcr students our dirporitlon reparore inridenccthen.391 '' Tornldo di Frzlncin m w rhc fight to do arvay with lhc expensive nmdclr us a sign rhnr much tnorc had to ch." "In his iwopural lerrurc for the new year.Grc~otti.as . Genoa and thc South. ~ ~ i . During the nr~cmblies[hey refused ro veuk bur chirped inrrei~d perrhcd on [he bcnchcr likes raosring birds. 1990.znyof rhere godr rhe Florrntinc Radical were rhated.hat rhere w r n lack of this ii.rhe olhcr grca.rtnn. '" "In 1968 rhe Iralii~n Schools of Archilecturc be- " Umnir. (Cin. 7 Deresponribiliry ofthe domi. rhopkeepcrr. 7 Dcccmbcr 19661. M. See Grispigni k i t . 1944dcncn O f the porriblc iuc198.cn thc rchool'r pcnchsln~for precise ink drmingr. 'lnccrvirra ia BrunoZNi". n r c l ~ d c c l : ~ r ~ r h o ~ ~ ~ i n P i ~ ~ iiir n s r nor a prccire oblip. Scicnce Ficrion be imporrant ro go deeper works ar o son o f alterna. According l o ~ h address c by SO Gori. rcncr war and remains counerhecirs'r.Milnn. 71. Cilrreri.thcrc. 7 Decembcr 20021.vork l o rlirrrncr rhcn?.een I 4 and 15 M ~ r c h 19M.er districts blc having I n r professionto begin w i ~ h But accord .ho nrc on.lnoToraldodi And here \\.orking cl. inS0pee of chc Florcnce School of hrchi~ecrurcwnspublished i n the Florentine daily in Decembcroil966. the destiny ofFlo. "V.R o m ~ c c . M~rr.iewrwith rcvcrnl members of Archimam and SUPERYTUDIO. C o . '' IM. See Slauffcr (cil.iId Ino.ar p a c lpse.ider rnnjie of topics.brdFe.l'ctcrLnnp. ~l>elirrrSt. "Prab.c or escapist li~eri~rure dynamic. rirnrl. Milan. "Diwomo agli 5. 0 yello\v bound meekly news-stand publi- and more could bc developed on each o i r h e indi. 287.hlaric Therer Stauffcr laced Dranzi.ere [he issuer [hat pro\.cd in C~rcrbel- i n Romc.tri region from RcFSioCmilie.ould relocatc rhe school inro (he pcriphcry running along the fwrhills on the RorcnccPni+l'ir.irucc thc existing power structures within (he oni. biunco.er)~one.o/l/nl.lr a.ar. Pirzoilo and Di jcrts i o a Crirtina.. interview with . Corrctti. 20021.I .lecturc held nr thc FncoltB d i Firenzc i n orrarian ofthe faculry confcrence held i n Romc hc. Perer Lang.. 191. Ar.May 19W.a trivis~lobrema~ion p h r . " h l i n ~ o r cFanfmi \\. "In inrcn. Milan.rriirird (no. r.auld cros-d. t\\.as ~ h e rhe school's prcridenr. v i d u ~ lmcmberr of the i ~ m u n d group. and it \\. a conrmverriril . E. '' Leonardo Ricci.nn. Thesrliclc ourlined rhe tcnuour condicionr t?dngthe rchod after che flwd. London. 1951.~r $vcll versity in 1963 ond 1901. :' Toraldo d i France recalled that Ricri'r course had rhc r~udcntrwork on ftlll-rcnlc models. Cnpobianco and C.t h a ~the city hsd l e s who sough[ f:~t.". H. \villing lo alloiv erperi.tppro.. becoming a sonofwish lirr for the then Preside G i ~ i r c ~G~oer i who lpropored n new rh. h4.i!i. nant politicxl class to have ' C a p o n e ~ r oinnd Fmcnrrilcfr the Iralian r c h w l ryr.>y 19M. T. T h n e \>.ni. zoom and Supciscudio".p6n~oftheschwl'r populationduringthep~c. chirct~ami~rliilrrn: 191019..inrcn~iew thcrchool ingcnectl nccd.bn:trdi n r ~ n l h arhich (he univcrriiy and ~ions. cember 20021.\r i n f s c ~rhc cost o f [he proferrionally m ~ d etmodelr for thc (hesir proiecl. i n G ~ n h c l i u .into su~cns-ruoro'sgroup tn.ing his or~cntionr lirer and bccnure rhc !pro. r.such .. inrcrvicw wirh Crirr h n o Toraldo d i Franch (Filottrnno.to include rhe participstion ofrhcrmdentrin ar~demlcdecirionr.o~rs \ v i ~ b reridcnrisl Iproblcmr than rhc \lorking cli~rrcs.~pler: Elecra Napoli.lrured ciwdboard ittian roproviderhcmu. fessorr wcrc n.287.

.

In today's \\. "kick ass design" but more importantly they were "creative initiatives". the galleries of New York and Dusseldorf. for what you have domesticated.' It should be noted that during this period MOMA'S architecture department truly had its finger on the ~ u l s of e the moment. is "a safe distance from Cape Canaverd.it featured alongside a survey of contemporary Italian industrial and doniestic product design a SUPERSTUD~O Mimocvent/Microcrrvirontnetrt as well as projects by Archizoom. unlike anything being ~ r o d u c e din America at the time. Thc Ncw Domestic Lndscape catalogue begins with a short discussion on domestication from Antoine d e Saint-Exupbry's Thl.domesticated?" "It is an act too often neglected. Gruppo Strum. "Please domesticate me".r Little Pri~~ce: "You become responsible.' This connection with the world outside Italy changed dramatically in 1972 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York under the direction of design curator Emilio Ambasz created an amazing exhibition and spectacularly beautiful catalogue titled Italy: The New Dornertic 54 Landscape. and even the snlelly factories of the P o valleyMand "there [is] hardly an insistent or threatening local milieu of mainstream architects worth bothering about". This small Tuscan city.~ The largest and most expensive exhibition in the history of MOMA.orld where architectural shifts and drifts are internationalized cquickly across cyberspace. and Austrians Raimund Abraham and Friedrich St Florian. as Doug Michaels puts it.Rucker-Co. as Peter Cook reminds us. Gianni Pettena.. forever.' They suggested a fantastic architectural scene in Florence that made California seem very provincial and unimaginative. said the fox.. UFO.. image making and thought than mere product design." "What does that mean .Archizoom." . it is hard to imagine a small museum city like Florence as a centre of international thought on architecture. Ugo La Pietra.visionary drawings coming from the studios of young Florentines from 1966 on were an altogether different level of creation. The exhibition and catalogue attempt to rectify this understand- sign culture. Edu- ÿÿ be Webb Ratmund Abraham ~ d o l l oNarallni and Frledr ch St Florran 1970 stage for its penultimate moment on the international scene. urbanism and design. Its "strategist" Adolfo Natalini taught there for a semester with Archigrammer Mike Webb. Ugo La Pietra and others were. Architecture IVitbout architect^ (1965) and just before Neru Dotne. but this small museum and university city was very much a hot spot in the late 1960s. It means to establish bonds.' The arch scenes of Rome. The drawings of SUPESTUDIO. Haus. Achievetnet~tsand I'roblems ofltalia~rDe. Venice and Milan were vibrant in their own ways.. the best art and architecture book store in Italy Centro Di and Maria Gloria Bicocchi's out front gallery Centrodiffusionegrafica (later to become the important video tape gnllery art/tapes 22): Throughout the 1960s the seductively ironic and charged polemics of these Florentine architects were known in North h l e r ica through Italian magazines but SUPERSTUDIO did touch down in the United States at the Rhode Island School of Design for a moment in 1970.rtic Landscape.. group 9999 and others.sig~z. : . Gruppo Strum. The Architecture and Design Department under Arthur Drexler created other important exhibits: Visiotra~~' Arch~tectrrre(1960). Archigram o r the Austrians: Coop Himmelblau. It had an architecture culture that revolved around one of Italy's most lively and politically engaged architecture schools." It was the first to feature the young Florentines and none of the other visionary architectural draftsmen of the period: Cedric Price.

" "What is a rite?" asked the little prince. T h e history of modular housing is 56 er "conceive[sl of work as an autonomous acrivity responsibleonly to itself and does not question irs sociocultural context".." Furthermore. I have friends to discover. the aesthetic quality of individual objects intended for private consumption [has] become irrelevant in the face of such pressing problems as poverty. one hour from other hours. said the fox. thereby insuring most co~ilpellingapproach since it "corresponds to the preoccupations of a changing society". The catalogue essay by Manfredo Tafuri. and . Ambasz then proclaims the irrelevance of objects: "for many designers..icrions too often neglectedn. are given a chapter in the caralogue ro stare their position and critique those with whom they disagree about the production of objects. . simply refining "already established forms and f~nctions"." If this were not cnough of a qualifier. very much". They buy things already made ar shops. "They re what make one day different from other days. soriie of these designers "despairing of effecring social change through design. attacks the work of sLJ~olU'l'L!~10 ing "liberation through irony [that] goes over the same ground covered by rlie utopias of the avant-garde of earlier years". and the pollution of tlie environmenr now cncounrered in all industrialized countries". But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship. for and Archizoom for bcexample.. ~ n dsometimes self-deprecatory socio- tradictions and paradoxes of the firsr two groups. in rhe spirit of polemical discourse.One must observe the proper rites ." "What must 1 do." They do not "invent substantially new forms. regard their task as essentially a political one and therefore absrain from physical design of either objects or environments and channel their energies into the sraging of evcnrs and the issuing of polemical statements". and so \ve have no friends any more." "One only understands tlie things that one domesticates". If you want a friend..:~ The second group o r rhe reformists. "But I have not much time. itre "morivated by a ~ r o f o u n dconcern for the designer's role in a society that fosters consumption as one mciins of inducing individual happiness. ". urban decay.. and is what "rhe exhibition is ."" This call for design is quickly followed in the introduction with the disclaimer thar "design cannot solve all problems that precede its crearion and rhose that may arise f r o ~ nir". the little prince replied.'" These absraining designers. instead they engage in a rhetorical operation of redesigning conventional objects with new ironic. domesticate me . said tlie fox. "Those are . to domesticate you?" asked rhe little prince. In thc first ten- litical and philosophical action or complere \virhdrawal from the mean here designed environments like T o ~ oFl I ~ U I I S / JU~~. "Men have no more time to understand anything." When in society". I I~by I modular housing industry..I great many things to understand."I want to.

. Gaetano Pesce. It is a domestic product that appears in many Italian design concerns and their professional practices" can be placed togethwhich they work"."These definitions seem flexible and loose because urn. Vico Magistretti. Ettore Sottsass' classic Valentine portable Olivetti typewriter. The division of Italian design into three prevalent attitudes is followed in the catalogue by the two sections "Objects" and "Environments" that parallel and document the exhibition. the Castiglioni brothers' lamps. Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper's early television boxes. Massimo Vi- see much difference in concept beyond their marketing.created a nine-panel project that arguably stands out as the iconic project from the exhibit. In "Objects" designs are seand finally "implications of more flexible patterns of use and arrangement". The cat- DIO for their implications of more flexible patterns of use and arrange- to completely different categories." In the first "Objects" grouping selected for their formal and technical means are domestic designs by Joe Colombo.

000 students. In the Florence School OF Architecture. Howard Searles' N O I I ."Based on chis detailed Design Progra~n each invited designer or group is asked to design "a domestic environment adaptable enough to permit the enactment OF different private and communally imagined new events. Moles and ~II The Manhattan text. . there are 6. then by grace OF their aBinities". thcy decided." In tlie Desig~rProgram Ambasz presents his view that the probso lems of urban society are so severe that designers must be chal- anti-utopias are scvcrely criticized in the most po\verful text in The ri's preferred standards OF earlier avant-gardes.I" In thc second section of the exhibition "Environments" Arnbasz presents a detailed. It \\. maniFesto-like seven-page Design Program of "environmental concepts" that he hoped would become physical designs.UD~Odid believe For a titile that the luxury goods market. allo\\' itself an ample margin of little experiments"." While SUI'ERSI. little more than an "inducement to COLISUII~C". a list OF "general considerations" and a final separate essay.Marxism and the Fre11c11 Upheaval.Italian conundrum and needs an explanation.. The socalled 'Furniture industryyhas only t \ \ .." This essay originally published in Casabrlla seems gratuitous and his call that it inspire designers to "make incursions into i~iiaginaryrealms" is hardly necessary For groups like suPmsruuro. and architects in Italy are in charge OF only 25% of the total built volume of building. if not by reason of thcir casual or historical relationships (since no reconstruction is hereby intended)." It is liberally sprinkled with quotes From Siegfried Giedion's T11e A r c l ~ i f e c t f ~orfe Transition. constant aspects OF our individual and social memory"." The Design Progra~~r includes minutely detailed programmatic considerations and options that include cost goals (economically available to "low to middle income Italian Families").000 Firms (average number of employccs 4. Ambasz's Princeton professor Abraham A. Adolfo Natalini commenting on Italian architects involved in this sector has said. they evcntually canie to believe it was a deadend street. Henri LeFebvre's The Explosio12. created by an extant artisanal Italian economy. H Z I I I IEnvironnrer~!. ~Firms with more than 500 employees in more than 28.. "Manhattan: Capital of the Twentieth Century" that all attempt to put contemporary problems OF the domcstic landscape in context for the designers.as. exhibition light sources. sincc they risk be- ." informed by W:ilter Benjamin insights. and all the Fragments envisioned For the city OF tlie imagination may dwell together in an ensemble. presents the island as an infrastructure that provides the Framework in which "all crystallized fragments rescued from the city ofmemory. thanks to its 'craftsmen' size.8) and can thercfore. offered them the opportunity to express design ideas that were closed off to them in the building sector. sufficiently fixed to permit the re-enactment OF . "its super production of ideas is due to the condition of complete unemployment among architects.

: The His text in the "Critical Articles" section of the catalogue is dense and insightful on 20th-century Italian design.. In the spirit of 1960s' polemical and protest culture SUPERSTUDIO. '' l b ~ d20. ':Il~rd147. 1990.. c~tralo~oe. 3831. Milas.ttured i n this exhibit edunted 2%archi. Nnlnlini. Grnhrm. not only arc the " Ibtd designerr fc. " lhid 245. u how thnt heralded I'orr.d 13946.' M. Rcnzo P m o devlrcd . lhid.Proclaiming it. (cil. "Suicidal De. ' ' IbiJ " Ilnd :' lbid 2 I. rnadernlrrn ur Moh1. " Ibld 148. "lbid 143 "/bid. Ribrd 139-210. lelf ar mdicitl.. mail conl8enstton*irh the author.'^ A. 2 J. in thl. [ecw but or informs all of their ~ h a u p h and ~ r motivarianr. *' Ibid. lb.as therefore fated to give birth to new utopias" and that a "private leap into the sublimated universe of 'artificial ~aradises'has not proven prescient".1iL1181 (C~~mbridgc. or to renounce irr o\vn idei~r~nnd " - !?~enrr.thc prcrenl l i o n a. Tsfuri. 'Art in ReI.tnuary 2003. itnd ' C w k k i t . tionr from the ~IOMA l i bmry. 242: oriGinslly in "sul)Khnu~. bmlkinl: ~vlth. MohlA i n 1972. Icir. CnmbellN " D. '-'lhiil 420. bilities of the design strategy. scape".I lighlwei~htstructure to cowr the uppcr and lower terraces o f rhe museum'r garden. 49). but his belief was that SUI~BIISTUDIO'S"anti-utopian regression \\. " lh~d.~rrdPmbbnrg/ltnl. 8/72. 139- 46). i n nn cmstl conversation wirh the nurhor.~o". " Ihid.drm ilrchirecrure Archizoom and Supcntud 6 a . Celant'r 'Rndicill Archircaure".tFing ian Dcrign (1972). "'lhrd 421. ln Arnbarr. (no. The next rnaior . placed on ~ I O M A ' S New Dornrrfic to us at the start of the 21st century. "ihrd Hawmer. " Ibrd 147. r . 380). "All rhcnew 1r. *'lhld 21.an behnuiot~nl. bur remained un- "lbid.nrchirecrure exhibition after " lhirl 94.itcdurr: 11. ~hemsclver from. " lhd.I. e A r c h Ne\v i t e c ~ ~Domestic ~re Lnndolthe fleorfx Arts i n 1976. 469).>r I t s rims Anre conmpruil . i n an e. 'l~sly: The ~ ~ o ~ c ~ ~ ~ ~ r T h l ." They did call for a \vorld "without cities. " lbid 11 I. The Neru Do. . Perer Lnng. . Ar</~dedsreDe~i~. London. 242). " Anlbarr.I rh. castles or roads" but this h l l l Prerr. ' Doug Michselr. ' Doug Michaels. i r no l o n ~ e r svirher ro be commercialized or rlienated. ed. e c c . sires".b u their ~ aim ofdireng. See G. 2 January 2003.mic Lind. (cir.Hirrog o/IrnIianArcl. 1972. 4.lrion to Architecu~re/ Arrhitcrturc i n Relatton to " A r n b ~ ~ rerl.

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Thus a series of guerrilla warfare actions are born, violence is
imposed and suffered ... this is which creates the need for a "strategy for living", i.e. a series of practical rules, first-aid manuals, welltried methods for smoothing over discord and bringing back
peace and calm. Living strategy is substantially a method for
reaching the self-consciousness of horno bobitons through a series
of spiritual exercises. And certainly every "manual of spiritual
exercises for serene living" must suggest the abandonment of all
desire to be always "in fashion" or the desire to be always stylish, or amusing, or to be liked at once: that is, it advises an immediate abandon of false problems, manias, hysteria.

74

The Egyptians and the Etruscans used to put household objects in their tombs: today also most houses are the tombs of objects. Objects become museum-ified very quickly, and are kept,
it doesn't matter whether for a long or short time, with all the dusty
eternity of useless ornaments. If the purpose of furnishing is to
permit human relationships, e\,erything we have about us must
always and only be a witness to our mental o r emotional relationships: a series of objects to keep like messages in bottles,
about our public and private histories.
But the important thing is to keep ourselves free from fear rep r d i n g memories: the important thing is to keep control of the
situation, with all its possibilities for change, for abolishing or conserving. Each operation, each variation, must however take place
without drama, because usually nothing is bettered or worsened,
just changed. In the field of variability, much is talked (too much
perhaps) of mobile space, consumable space, transformable space.
There is the search for metabolisms and cinetization, an architecture of "mobility, functionality, usability" is substituted for an
architecture of "firmitas, utilitas, venustas".
At any rate, there is an effort to move what is still, without trying to stop that \vhich is moving too much.
is not that of searching for a house which imiThe
tates movement, which follows the man who mo\,es, lives, con-

sumes, dies; the great problem is that of finding a house above
passion, a house of calm serenity, a house for all seasons. We already move about enough ourselves to rendcr the architecture variable, changing its relationships with the passing of time, with the
changing of the seasons and life.
Modern furnishing is like a great race (from one exhibition to
another, from shop to magazine) towards the most beautiful, the
newest, the most functional.
But to come in first o r last has no importance if the whole race
is wrong, and the race of consumerism is definitely wrong.
Thus, the thing to d o is not to take part in the race, but to get
out of it as soon as possible, and to isolate oneself apart to col-

The problem is not to furnish roorns.
and not even to propose objects both amusing and perishable ...
The problem is to furnish deserts,
to awake consciousness from long, dogmatic sleep,
and force backward the monster created by the sleep of reason.
Once, silver was used for protection against vampires
and werewolves;
now we use marble, chrome, mirrors and rare roots
against similar nightmare creatures,
but now it is easier to distinguish them because they are
nightmares in daylight,
born, under fancy lights, lampshades and appliques,
floating on blow-up cushions, boxed into modular,
transformable coffins; but at the same time it is also more
difficult, because now they frighten no-one (or almost):
a policy of progressive narcosis encourages them,
and the illusion of well-being feeds them.
The pass-word is still let yourself go,
let yourself be guided by Big-brother-\\rho-knowsmore-than-you,
above all because Big Brother
is himself a civilized person,
\\'ha understands perfectly that one cannot argue about taste
and everyone has his o\vn personality,
and so everyone has the right
to choose for himself when it comes
to slipcovers for the car,
the lamps for the TV set and the seat-cover
(or better still, the three-piece set) for the WC ...

g

131
1 1

O n e has the lrnpresslon of a serles of hard, s h ~ n pleccs
~ n ~ of

I

We don't ~nrendto lanore u ~ s s ~ o or
n ades~res,or detdch ourselves

1

and d e s ~ r efor t h ~ n g sthemselves

they wllIgrow In the ddrk u n t ~ they
l
become trlump

wastc to be avoided is that of intelligence.

object made with the instruments of reason, appe

w:c,ln

ogmm or cube, and to p l ~ n them
t
In sltt~ng-rooms,bedrooms, on

!
11

~maelne-itelnotv and then we can beam to fill 11, slowly,

I\!:

1

'+

fprrion: the comolementnriness from the fact that. together, thev

serrcs of dctrons w ~ t h o u tvtolettce, rcndlng to rnnlnrarn non cornm u n ~ c d t ~ nsystems
g
closed, dnd at the same tlme to state a slngle
ldca of a serene and exact way of 11fe

around it as images. This is a kind of living with n o great adventures. which makes its choices without haste. constructine a form

!

of the oresent. that of Le Corbus~er.Mtes. ~ i e u e rMart
,
Srarn, Adl-

already brllllantly passed all tests, ~ n c l u d ~ nthe
g hdrdesr of dl],
And there 1s other furn~tureon the way to belonging to the

There are uleces of furn~turem chrome and mlrror, s h ~ n ymetal

lit!

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at our disposal. as was often reproached us. all so sweet weight of mass culture or because they are drop-outs from it. It was there. of architecture. was according to me remarkably consistent and logical. December 2002 f 2 P ' . uncorn/ortable. on the verge of revealing its outline in a puff of dust. an "invisible" architecture (in the sense of the "invisible man"). theory" of architecture and art. And therefore architectures the outside of which could be utilized. The bourgeois dressed in their Sunday best walking by the elephant of the Bastille would say./r. Les MisPrables. from one branch to the other. To the only mental place where we might have been able to find (maybe!) the magic formula for the Invention of the New Architecture.l architecture. First of all let us see what I did NOT want to find: I did NOT want to find a fashionable architecture. a2 My search for architecture now appears to me like that of the Graal. to not work. the great. we followed the ancient and modern nomadic "gatherers". far from being a zigzagging course without a real destination. straight out of the inner life of the men who live in it. That is why I say I did not find it. sedentary owners of land. ready to reveal itself. of steam or in the rain: pouring rain (like in Rashornon!) that Gavroche sought cover from in the elephant of the Bastille. had become an urchin's shell: the lad had been accepted and taken in by the colossus. it can be intentionally designed to be rmpleasat~t. down to where Architecture is without Architects. already institutionalized cultures. gone through. down to the roots of human doing. Book VI. we realised however that this search was no longer the business of the SUPERSTUDIO but of each one of us. the few who. either because they have not yet collapsed under the cozy. And I believe I did not find it. I1 An architecture can be consciously negative. but I shall try to explain. Bernard Tschumi Florence. to let itself Once we reached this place. the only "improvisers" of design. A descent. an architecture in which the outside arises from the inside. I was more and more convinced of its instrumentality with respect to social and economic forces. Leaving aside the "cultivators". Indeed I fail to see it. like in the fdm on the "invisible man". of the Philosopher's Stone. I say "I believe" because I might even have found it without realizing it! I understand that this is not a very credible claim. of its impossibility to be authentic and to serve Man. even if I have a feeling that. In other words that another journey began here. the "inventors" of something out of nothing. touched. still had the brilliant prerogatives of chilAs you can clearly see. Instead I always sought a "skinless" architecture. made use of just like the inside. an anthill architecture for men (of course just the opposite of a phalanstery!). The first example of an architecturehon architecture that en- come an architect. the true. the Phoenix. from men "bare" of knowledge and experience. 1 I I did NOT want to find a bmur. our journey. and of specific. perhaps apish but resolute.I did NOTwant to find a monumental architecture. examining it with their bulgiig eyes and an expression of contempt: 'What is it good for?"' Victor Hugo. of its ambiguous aesthetic-artistic ambition. this time an individual one. out of flotsam. that had contained one of the emperor's thoughts. In the course of this critical ~ h a s e to discern the birth of objects and of architecture starting from the primordial. it has grown close to me. of cultivation. warm. "Oh unexpected usefulness of the useless! Charity of great things! Bounty of giants! This outsize monument. of town-planning. plain and hill architectures.

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Many of their core theoretical and representational concepts they later developed originated in this earliest phase benveen 1967 and 1968. Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. an intensive initiation to the world of architecture that paralleled the early development of Archizoom. The period benveen 1966 and 1968 represents the group's early developmental stage. . The office began with Adolfo Natalini. Archi~ec~ure and Mo~rrrrnen~ 2. Archr~ec~rrre and I~noge 3. We recognize this first brief period to be the Slrperarchitecrurephase in the group's evolution.]ourrrey into the Real111of Reaso~r( 1 9 6 8 4 9 ) and the development of a "single design".1966-68 Superarchitecture: to the Rescue! The first chapter deals with the newly consrituted group SUPERSTUDIO following their debut announced at the December 1966 S~perarchilecllrreexhibition in Pistoia. Roberto Magris. A Caralogue of Villas (196748). the group organized a fully professional architectural and design office. that attempted to translate the group's theoretical and ideological concerns into "practical" projects. from their first offices in Via Bellosguardo 1. Simultaneously. Benveen 1967 and 1968 three main themes were identified for further investigation: 1. Techtlo~norphicArchirpcrure These three categories were subsequently synthesized in three major theses: I~luenriorrDesign and Evasion Des~g~i (1967). constructed on a critical re-evaluation of their educational experiences and tied to the contemporary architectural and design culture in Florence. and after April 1968 Piero Frassineh.

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(el01 e q6na>q1uana ri 1.no allxoxa l j l ~ l a q l ~ I I Arlmlqo ~ luairAs aql olul s a t p q n q l o u .alqo lualrlra fiu~u~ano6sua8lelnfia~ (~1161n1llaapoa s layla aql u o ' a ~Pl ~ uo ant1 01 ale amnoq ~noqe'laramoq 'UOIS~IS. 'jelauafi "8 6ulmoq fiu~p!onelo .npo~d(e8~lsnpullo aql Aq pasodml SlaMsue palelllqela~d plall aql ut fiu#le. r l r n p l d m o l a 411M1~0llel3~n~ap10 s!sA~eue101 a u l l ')!?a pup aluonua 'worloq p u e d o ~lo rrarn aql lie fiu~nlonu~ rueawrlql OUYI~M hlaod q l l 6ulhll ~ arodlnd ruoner8pul an6enqlf~'rallomam .o.lru.ul.% aloAad lo aroql pue rauo u w n q BIOL(M~~I fiu~dsqs I m o l e 'rmaolqmm alqelamnuul lo pue 6uulddnr) alldre aM q3111~01 rpnall all1 ua'alellen elllllanfi ~ l l q n d uatlelada lelol all1 lou $8 I! .lay] $8 fiulq~lueuodml u q l r 6 u q i uo aAeq 11eqs a M bland Aephana l o pllnq 01 pialle u e ? o q ~ r l c l ~ o m q!cm .q>olq ~ e l l u a p l r aull ~an11 Ael st op 01 !"DM a m l e w puno~fi '"ua6lllalu! 4 1 lo sllaq leas all1 Aluo o w asoql'sllenraql uo dn r6u11uled aql uo r l l r auohana q 3 1 w l e6u11aam 6ulualq611pllom act1 punol sa81elaulll 6uhlnd Inoqllm Uana an!l ol alqlrrod r! l r a l o ~ dvllaed aql 'ul. ol aql alefi!lsanu! 01 s a d o s o l ~ m wro rlaql ul Aileapil . aql aql Ajddnr noA'are?puo?ar aql ul pue may1 YllM an11 ~ ~ ' r a r ~ ~10d l n s ul'rlagem~adnso q ~~ ! ' E J P ~ PUO u! 111q u ! q ~aq arn aqlol wag) rlndlain llnl Pue lnlasn amaslaq~n2Pam0103 hl!2 aql u! orlelnq 'ran8l lallwed llems q 3 ~ a pue 'asn lerlanlun 10 r l ~algo .lnpo~d"0 4 apew raroq pa(eas~A~(enlauuaq 'nmpd(rnan6!qme) zuerlu6ir 06 01 rl melqald 1110 Add84 ' A l ! n ~ a 6 ~ ! "8 Aluo pan81IOU $8 a111ieqt pue -!11nmAlddns noA a r e > ~ n ! aql ) ul loalp Alalns IIeqr aMpue adoq ul '.l$ Aephana u~efie r. ' aluew~ollad ~ rnonulluoa e Waql aloufi! ol a ~ q ~ r s oaqd A ~ MAUP u61a101 6~83np~lu8 10 hoaql aql uo . a q l ~ O l I luel~enlo an!leulalle ue re .ado pup 6uluusld le sql plane aa "PI 'apnl!lle 111~1139aql $ 1 1uamaG~fiuas8p ~mllllcd anlllall e fiulqellq 'Aem11q1 UI AlUO lo rauol~arok e a PUP 6uluund raoanbmau aql 'ufilrap uolsiln3 .aurap parralda~lo aroljl 110s oneq lleqr a m slulld arauedep 01 a l q ~ r r o d avow l ~ DI ubsap uotsrna 'puemap ~ a a n r u o ~ p u e l G o l o q l a l l o j a l i w >o. ~ O M O MU!I pana#q.

March 2003) Each of these three categories represents a concise theoretical engagement on one of the following disciplines in design and architecture: the object. Monuments. The Corrtitruorrs Monrrmmt (storyboard. from Europe to the United States and Japan. ~vithAlessandro Poli. storyboards and literary narratives. Cities This chapter surveys SUPERSTUDIO'S most provocative period from 1969 to 1971. the city. &~Z%& ‘ . Hrrtogrdms (architecture of objects.1969-71 /Lmc. en~ployingcollage. The professional "officc" continued its design activities. with an audio-slide show to be re-enacted and recordcd in conjunction with the London exhibition. design objects A r c / ~ ~ t e c t r ~the r e . 1. nor restored) 2. After successfully formulizing a critique on design. architecture magazines and exhibitions. . with an audio-slide show. Euclue Ideal Cities (architecture of cities. the monument.first film to be produced and I~rterpl~~netaty e r the group by suIJensTuolo. Y W . It was during these years that the group generated its most renowned body of work. ~ n e n ~ b of from 1970 to 1972) 3.I. ' % & a / - OFcao4i~ JmeC #'/&a h 16 Superprojects: Objects. Almost all the conceptual production was intended for catalogues. the u s of conceptual projects through group produced a ~ r o d i ~ i o set an innovative use of multi-media techniques. The most srriking images produced in the period found wide distribution internationally. architecture and the city. while entering into one of its most creatively engaged and controversially subversive periods.

adnr re 'a3ue3lllu6lr nl ja ualllnllrap aql 'malrAs aq! 01 13a!qo aql pu!q qllqm (apelmdr aql l o ved lelluarra us ~ ~ I ~ M ' S Uspell O I UPUO ~ salljed 1ew1od 6~1pnpu!.qn.or m m ajo~ ralxqan aql sno~.) rlla!qo qllm anll aA$ lcql os'lamod ul aroql hq parodmt r u o ~ ~ s l o u uaql o ~pue .o)bnlual r rlql u! alnllnl pue hlalmr ul ra6ueql aql (Ie moq aar uel am'hlaroll 8001am11 qrlqqnt lo rulelunow lo s~!sq3I!wala Inl#lneaq6u1u61sap hq dn pua l)!m am 'ar<rmaqlg'hlal3os ul II~II~II~ aql lo y'om aql jo (adaq e lo) eapl us lnoql!m 'aml!ulnl u61sap01 lo'u6lrap a~nllwnllnoqe alqlrrod $1 u ~ u ! qIOU ~ op aM ~I~JMOI .~ P I ~ U O ~ ~aql J~W a11qh'mql ala1dmo3~1aq1 pull ue. $11lo1 bl "el am 13aIq0 ue l o luqu!ql.l~uo.alqo ue oluo fiulueam l o . 10 salnqr~lls.rpaau $14ol 6~1p.fiulllanal. a q ~ papualul A~~IBJIP.I 10 aldlau~~d aqI q l q a u l pue:ra!l~l~q~rrod rlq ja luaudolanap tin) aql pui) plnoqr auobana 4114" U! 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Aluo aq IIIM paau IIIM am rllalqo ail1 wnnlen e q l ! raneqr ~ m lo auo alrlrsam PUP ~o813allal 'q6noql ualjo or banal uollei6a1u1 101 aleleql ' s ~ o ~ rren qlnr rllalqo ul ra!l ~a6usphluo a q mnwlulw r ~ ~ r u a1e386em ln e 01 ruolle~adoampal am'uo~lenlsa~ r r a l l o a m ' a m ma1 e 4 1 1 ~ alnlorqr rl! rplrmol uo 1anu81u03 alq8ssod sl a111qllqm UI PUO a w a s W I O I . aql'r!rhleue q6noiql uollpn!lom u a ~ ~ s ~ ~ u n1r8. e no ]raw! l o boaql aql lo.sllnpo~dII! ale q6noql llarll ralenladlad pup r13e qa~qm]h18!1os 110a6moqUI 'p'oqao Ant) 01 6u8p~omsa s ~ p u e q l ~ a ~ sum!^ 'Su!unsuol 'fiu~mpoldloh s a! ~ "8 hla8zor Axuo11n1ona~D 10 ~ o ~ l l n ~ ~ r u o l a q l a w n d olul ~ n aq d plnoqr . pile 'nnaq p a ~ u l o naql ~e aldlllls l o ' s a n ~ l l ~ qllqm'alualrlra 03 '$all 1~3113s1uhr aql lo UOllJnllrap ue lo1 s1eu61r'ruemr~tello rfieil a l l paul~apam sa!l)ej (laueal. am a 6 w ! ar8leu~alleaql 1q611ol am03 AOM 1141 UI 'SUOII~UIWIIUOI ~noln~p!~ 'A~lpom' a ~ r a r u o'an86 l 'wlo]susll lo 311aqled 'molepuelr lrow p(naw 'me 01 paau aql re r6utq1 aqj alnll~rqnrhem am 'er. s jo ued $1 le!~rlalo>da q l o ~h1111q8sramr aesra~6ord)!a41 r r e l l Su!lnl aql hq parodold riapow jo uolrsa~dra 841 rlsqmAr rnlelr are nx!qo q 'OLU~PUOI 01 luawalnpu~hla~am$1 u6mp e -1041palllrel~o w 0 (rpaau eau fiupnpu! m a 'rpaau Lelund jo I '(q1191q19~1 AlJanod puolar p r: PUB 0 ~ 0 l q ssa11118n) 3 ulewal l l ! rl!sualn ~ aql 'pueq auo aql uo snql ruo!Ielado aldm!s q sl~suajn 'sassel3 6u!lnl aql hq parodm!.an-aa!d pue q3n1'10111m D 10 alej~ns841 uo amllna ua ra~mjng aql lo a l ! l l s ~ d sc 'AIMQIS 'q.fiu~psagano.uoil~nllrualal.al 1el1601oqlhrd a111 q6no~q1pallala Apealle a ~ e qam q l i w OI IPII~SIP 10 h6alelir leg1 l o lled rl1.ruorn lo uo~sra~dxa saaluelen6 Gu!mla~'~0!13e 183160111 pue monu!luolr!p q6noql rlql pus '. s q $1~ qxem aql ul 'PI~M paPualrlp 'aualor alom e r! ~01181hlr lrsl aql UOII~P anlsens ue (a6emt ue 10 adoq aql hllea~rl q11qmJ 101 rlvllno aql alrdald hluo up.ome'auobana 01 'ra!llledP1 rlq 01 ~UIPIO~IO 'auobana WO.INeIlr. aql lo rralold l u a ~ a l da q l r~roqd~omPlam $11 q~oa.maql qllqm 6ul~nparoq! ale q6no~t11 a6 01 ho~lr ap01 lua6)n ramomq 11uaql seq 13aIqo aql q x t l IaPOqd~Omelam ~ 'paqaeaj aq hcm a y l 'Allleal l o alua~~adra uollsnllom 6u!hllapun aql la lenomar llal!p pue Allleal lo lillol D awo3aq 0.: 1. 9 woll salt amleu 10 alrlr P S~JO"OI hwapual s rc ralnllnns lewloj 10 UO~IOU!UII~ aql -Aluo a x o ~auo Aq puelaua6 uaaq B A P 10261 ~ a ~ . hldwa ue 'lr!xa o l $areal awnruol iabeq3 10 100q 01 luawa2npul ue S O ullsap uaw aql rl ralelr alelpa~lalull o booq1 uo~ldwnruol-uo~llnpo~d a q l laqlla ~ a l l o01 ran!leualle 10 sall snoll8~1)aq110 uoll810qeaql lea13ou seq pus (llau! aleu!wlla 01) PuaAaq'arn pue uo8llnpold uaamlaq eplxnr I!umolol a6elnol lua1~8jjnr r d ~ q r u o ~ ~loe luo!l>nrlruom8 a~ aneq IOU raop hla83or e uaw aqI q6nolql % 6 r u j o 'rraupanerlo luanbal) ramolaq r8soqd~owelayy 'qlhm 10 sanlen aql qllm papeolal 51 11 'I! saop lo .

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bulthe sense of gu1ltder8v8ng from lhls rebellton srogreal and provokes ruch lnlenre monlal rullerlnri rhalonlva l e w u n bear ~ t l olong i Throughth8i ryrlem-lhal~r.and lhore walls have never beenreen The mhabllantr ltve m Ls machine endlessly dragged along by conveyor bells. air andwaler nch with the mlneial raltr 01 Ihe eanh 11 looks after 11slnhabllanlr by elabaratlng and rynthtr\i<ngIhe subslancer or~g~nally placed ~nI.Eighth Clty. the never-before.iulth anellon. gardens. and from . by chutes and pneumatic tuber The marlllne ISrcll-ruffoent. and ale 29 y x d r rvlde roclenjr rejects.wkrng 1118 mlll~on~ n l ~ a b ~ t aon n tar rlde lllraugh valloyi and hlllr. lhur the lotal height 8s 4. stretch away out of rqhtrh~cheve. 11recreawr. a programme af diearns emlned by the man lhvlng ~n the cupola at the lop No one knows how the man l#v#ng ~n the cupola Ilver. wh~ch flllr the cavern 1toccup8er. apprenlly. Ninlh City.where the mhab~tanlrl a m [he land. and almartaluay. and above walls IS 16 leet The mar8mum dlstare behveen !he Iworad~alwalls and the helghtol the room IS 7 In through bran impulseslooneor more ~nllab~tanls Ineveimore Lllan Iue at the same amel lhv~ngoo the level beneath theone onwhch 86 owner Ises. Its p~peltner.dualrwllh lam~l~pr. squarer.ivo~kadmanulactureabteclr to ral~rtylhedemands01 the Inhabilanr of the upper levels Twice aday. whoivant lo lake them along. lrom the lhoure for more lhan four yearr after 11s conrlrucl#on.l~ke everyone else. ~ h a t ~wllllrn r. llfe ~ l e from r planlcullurer andantma1 breedlng The perieclon of (he mechanlrm IS such !ha1 the add~t~onatquanttt~er ol energy and rnaller brought ~nby h e Ilghr. thmgr are rlanlng logo really well. ~ t ' r not pars8ble to trallrmll impulses to tha 8nltab1tants01 levels ye1 lurther dhvn nor lo ~nhab~tanoolone's wmlevel.reen romlo!lr What cobid be mole f a r r # n ~ l # nand g fearruring than the rperlarle of the famlher that dally drive up the perpendcular raadr tn lhe rpeclal grounds andcongralulater you' What hourcould be happier than when you enter your ncu home and . Conlcal Tanaced City The clly rlrer ~nthe mcdrlof a groat plain.al flred tlmer. he thought of rumng the inhab~lantrlo thetr clry Now. lhe delr8tur and rubble that the rtly leaves belllnd 11 It Ir ~norder lo prerent the rillzens bemg reduced to such a despelale slate that lrom tllelr eallterl age they are lnrulralcdiv~lhthe ronrepl lhal everyone's g!ealertder~remust ativayr be a nnv house. ~ t i a k e r * from the outrldeivorldanly some rays 01 runllghl.raundrog the cupala.000 leel. the lerhaaal 8nnovat8onr. 261 x 261 yards.Tenth City. through the. Ihe cltlzenr that lump the Ilghlr. each rccerr8ve level has 13 doors less The 5Wlh level has only 13doorr. ordering Ihothlngs theyneed b m t h o r e l ~ v ~ n g beneath-he lnhabllanlr obta~n evewhing they require Eachderlle parser from coilrdmalor l o r 0 ordlnalor "nu1 It leaches the lowest levels. and erperlally thore on the very hlghert.. anflhtnr) that d~er. from 11s back end The Grand Factory mover loward at a speed ol Iloot 2 112 ~nrherpel hour The plan of the rlly IS bared on a chequer-board of roads perpend8cular and parallel to llle Grand Factory. lhar Is. 11opens up a recllon for a few seconds to admit the I ~ c k yone.Its rows of gear-mechan~rmr. the roads reparato rquaro blorkr. all ~nhab~tants of the citq. rom~nually endeavour to gel 8nto 1he rupala. es are ever fewer Aclually.lr t<anrlormed rile machine producer ferl~ltierr .11ghL grey and foggy. oblectr. compla~nabout the unpunclual~tqofthe buses or !he lark oftvalerat the timer 11s most needed.ged l r m the ("pala la jell the others about 11. never needs anything It Is sad that Ihe cupola has plied up hew and lherolerl~tqtothe lerm~tqollhelr llghlr Aclually. meif.way one looks. a body has never bean laund . nor rtlll less lo those llvlng a b u e Theorel8cally. and $1I S for thsa fearon lhal the nervrpaperr. while llle d~ameter01 the lorverl level lr 16. 111s porriblelorelure to obey Iheofderr comng fromtlle mhab8enIr of the llmr abave.conveyorbells. ~nthe dim hall. new hourer and 11 8s in lart a city lhke any olher The only Ihng 8s that rt has been governed by the same mayor lor45 yearr The rearan lor h ~ long r stay ~nofftce IS rfmplo he has an er~ept~onally g o d idea Insteadof trying to rult Ihe city lo Its Inhab~lantr. ready for use.?Ihemorl urelul means of cllmblnglnalurally ~ndiu. but everybody maginpi hlrn to be happy because he never orders anflhing.here mamellourly arrarts all that 11requres for tho ronrtlurLion 01 the clly The Grand Farlorydevourr shreds of urelorr nature and unformed m~noralsa1 11sfront end and emllr recllons of completely folmed clly. ~ n d ~ c a t ~the n ggroundcovered Lookat the perlectclly that producer Factory 4 miles wide and 100 yardr high lhke the clly 8 1 contlnuourly producer The Grand Fartory explo~Lr the land and the underground maler8als of the terrllory 11crosses. damage clly property.The mart myrler8our querlron rr what happens la the prev80ur mhab~lantrof the cupola. In the c~aumlerencewall of each level are daatr 2 1 7 feet A1 giound level there are 6. surrounded bya canal 600 feet w ~ d eI1 lr lormedaf MOc~rcular levolsane above the oher. but na.45 yearr later. putl8ng the). connecung rods. which apparently has noopenlng at all 118s sad lhal 11one tauihcr a paillculal spa1 on ltr surface.eme. wandall other med~aronl~nually advert~reIhe marvellous novetller af the new houses. The Ville-Mechina Habiles The clly 8s a machine. nolh~ng strange aboul~r11has rseelr.one has eue. a>rand water became rurplur Any residue.500doorr. ca-ordinator. lharedethraned On the terrace ru.unt#l~tieaiherground level. receive. mador Insane w~lhgoodrlocontnbule to tile grealer prosperlly of our graat counlryand Ihe bcuer forluner olour well-loved rhareholderr parallel road next to them 8n 3 days The grealert arplrauon of everyclslen 1 5 to move more and more ohen 8nlo ~nd#v~duals. 118s h e p8ler 01 bodler lhal prowd. heads (ma lheopenrngr gwng on lo the central space.000 leel. each one of which has a dtarneler 32 fcet less than theane beneah Each level IS 8 feel high. ruch a large mach~nethat not even 11s lnhabllanls knmv 11s rze. who have none at all. roll dare to wander amongst Ihe rulnr.. are at ad~rartrantagel The lnhabllanls 01 Iho hlgherl levels who have very lew orders. City ol Order Thlr c t y has. as soon as a cit~zencomm~o some 159 . alter thlr penod.