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1969-71

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#'/&a h 16

Superprojects: Objects, Monuments, Cities

This chapter surveys SUPERSTUDIO'S most provocative period


from 1969 to 1971. It was during these years that the group
generated its most renowned body of work. After successfully
formulizing a critique on design, architecture and the city, the
u s of conceptual projects through
group produced a ~ r o d i ~ i o set
an innovative use of multi-media techniques, en~ployingcollage,
storyboards and literary narratives. The professional "officc"
continued its design activities, while entering into one of its most
creatively engaged and controversially subversive periods.
Almost all the conceptual production was intended for
catalogues, architecture magazines and exhibitions. The most
srriking images produced in the period found wide distribution
internationally, from Europe to the United States and Japan.
1. The Corrtitruorrs Monrrmmt (storyboard, with an
audio-slide show, nor restored)
2. Hrrtogrdms (architecture of objects, design objects
A r c / ~ ~ t e c t r ~the
r e ,first film to be produced
and I~rterpl~~netaty
e r the group
by suIJensTuolo, ~vithAlessandro Poli, ~ n e n ~ b of
from 1970 to 1972)
3. Euclue Ideal Cities (architecture of cities, with an
audio-slide show to be re-enacted and recordcd in conjunction
with the London exhibition. March 2003)
Each of these three categories represents a concise theoretical
engagement on one of the following disciplines in design and
architecture: the object, the monument, the city.

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rlde lllraugh valloyi and hlllr, lrom the

lhoure for more lhan four yearr after 11s


conrlrucl#on, alter thlr penod, oblectr.

~ 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.
and from ,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. ready for use. 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.
the roads reparato rquaro blorkr. 261
x 261 yards. and ale 29 y x d r rvlde

roclenjr rejects, 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.
roll dare to wander
amongst Ihe rulnr. 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, and $1I S for
thsa fearon lhal the nervrpaperr,
wandall other med~aronl~nually
advert~reIhe marvellous novetller af
the new houses. the lerhaaal
8nnovat8onr. the never-before.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

.Eighth Clty.
Conlcal Tanaced City
The clly rlrer ~nthe mcdrlof a groat
plain, surrounded bya canal 600 feet
w ~ d eI1 lr lormedaf MOc~rcular
levolsane above the oher, each one
of which has a dtarneler 32 fcet less
than theane beneah Each level IS
8 feel high, lhur the lotal height 8s
4.000 leel, while llle d~ameter01 the
lorverl level lr 16.000 leel.
In the c~aumlerencewall of each level
are daatr 2 1 7 feet A1 giound level
there are 6.500doorr. each rccerr8ve
level has 13 doors less The 5Wlh
level has only 13doorr. 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. ~ t ' r
not pars8ble to trallrmll impulses to tha
8nltab1tants01 levels ye1 lurther dhvn
nor lo ~nhab~tanoolone's
wmlevel.
nor rtlll less lo those llvlng a b u e
Theorel8cally.iulth anellon. 111s
porriblelorelure to obey Iheofderr
comng fromtlle mhab8enIr of the llmr
abave. 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, 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
almartaluay.unt#l~tieaiherground
level.where the mhab~tanlrl a m
[he land,ivo~kadmanulactureabteclr
to ral~rtylhedemands01
the Inhabilanr of the upper levels
Twice aday,al flred tlmer, all
~nhab~tants
of the citq. putl8ng the),
heads (ma lheopenrngr gwng on lo
the central space, receive, through
the,, ca-ordinator. 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. but everybody
maginpi hlrn to be happy because he
never orders anflhing, never needs
anything It Is sad that Ihe cupola has

plied up hew and lherolerl~tqtothe


lerm~tqollhelr llghlr Aclually. 118s h e
p8ler 01 bodler lhal prowd.?Ihemorl
urelul means of cllmblnglnalurally
~ndiu;dualrwllh lam~l~pr.
whoivant lo
lake them along, are at ad~rartrantagel
The lnhabllanls 01 Iho hlgherl levels
who have very lew orders. and
erperlally thore on the very hlghert,
who have none at all. rom~nually
endeavour to gel 8nto 1he rupala,
which apparently has noopenlng at
all 118s sad lhal 11one tauihcr a
paillculal spa1 on ltr surface. 11opens
up a recllon for a few seconds to
admit the I ~ c k yone, but na.one has
eue,eme,ged l r m the ("pala la jell
the others about 11.The mart
myrler8our querlron rr what happens
la the prev80ur mhab~lantrof the
cupola. lhar Is, lharedethraned
On the terrace ru,raundrog the cupala.
a body has never bean laund

Ninlh City.
The Ville-Mechina Habiles
The clly 8s a machine. ruch a large
mach~nethat not even 11s lnhabllanls
knmv 11s rze. Its p~peltner.Its rows of
gear-mechan~rmr.conveyorbells.
connecung rods. stretch away out of
rqhtrh~cheve,way one looks. ~nthe
dim hall.11ghL grey and foggy, wh~ch
flllr the cavern 1toccup8er.and lhore
walls have never beenreen
The mhabllantr ltve m Ls machine
endlessly dragged along by conveyor
bells. by chutes and pneumatic tuber

The marlllne ISrcll-ruffoent. ~ t i a k e r *


from the outrldeivorldanly some rays
01 runllghl, 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,. 11recreawr. ~ h a t ~wllllrn
r,
meif. 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. a>rand
water became rurplur Any residue.
anflhtnr) that d~er.lr t<anrlormed rile
machine producer ferl~ltierr
.Tenth City.
City ol Order
Thlr c t y has, apprenlly, nolh~ng
strange aboul~r11has rseelr.
squarer, gardens. 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.l~ke
everyone else. he thought of rumng
the inhab~lantrlo thetr clry
Now.45 yearr later, thmgr are
rlanlng logo really well. Ihe cltlzenr
that lump the Ilghlr. damage clly
property. compla~nabout the
unpunclual~tqofthe buses or !he lark
oftvalerat the timer 11s most
needed. es are ever fewer Aclually.
as soon as a cit~zencomm~o
some

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