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Programming After Program: Archizooms No-Stop City by Kazys Varnelis

One of Archizooms early Homogenous Living Diagrams, a purely quantitative representation of the city comprised solely of a typewriter generated field of periods punctuated by a grid of Xs. These precursors to Archizooms later No-Stop City project were ultimately deemed too threatening to publish.


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What are the prospects for program today? In the mid-twentieth century, program, as the loading of discrete spaces with specific activities, allowed modern architects to aspire to the status of social engineers. But it was precisely this idea of architecture as social engineering that served as a target in the critiques of modernism in the 1960s and 1970s. Some fifteen years ago, program returned to the fore as two new positions emerged: the hybrid which can be roughly identified with Bernard Tschumiand the genericassociated with Rem Koolhaas. In the former, architects perversely complicate spaces by deploying conflicting usesthe skateboarder meets the suits, for examplewhile in the latter they cede the ground entirely by advocating a programmatic indeterminacy.1 Although these new models of program were strongest in the academy, there too they found their undoing. Both models produced Photoshop architecture, unconvincing montages of people in space, that was less visually compelling than the experimentation with blobs and new materials, 2 which now virtually dominate work in the top schools. As this debate played out, however, another challenge to architecture emerged, namely the rising preeminence of networks over built structures. The microcomputer, telecommunications, and pervasive computing combine with the bureaucratic landscape of what Ulrich Beck calls second modernity to shape a formless and immaterial shadow world.3 It is not architectural space that dominates our lives today, as Manuel Castells points out, it is the Space of Flows, organized and channeled by the invisible forces of programming.4 Blobs and new materials can do little in response, offering only the perverse satisfaction of giving form to the formless. Program, now thoroughly humbled, is in even worse shape; activities within contemporary spaces are increasingly determined not through program but through programming, through the algorithms that run within them or by the legislative and economic codes that determine what can transpire in them. The architects traditional tactic of loading defined spaces with activities through the planbe it specific or hybridfades as contemporary spaces are determined by programming codes instead of by architectural programs. The programmatic indeterminacy of the generic, meanwhile, offers little more than a capitulation to this condition. In an effort to better understandindeed to get beyondthis contemporary condition, I want to focus on the moment of its instantiation, in particular, the sociocultural and technological transformations of the mid- to late-1960s and the radical proposals made in response by Archizoom Associati with their No-Stop City project of 1966-72. Of course this is not a search for retro formsave that for the last remaining Wallpaper* magazine readersbut rather for methods of practice that could inform a present response to the challenge programming poses architecture. The parallel of our own day to the mid-1960s has been drawn before,5 and not without reason, as Late Capitalism, Post-Fordist restructuring, and a postmodernist epistemic and cultural regime remain with us today. It was the first moment in which architects and other thinkers could grasp the transformative potential of the computer and the global telecommunications grid.6 For architecture, it was a signal moment in which challenges to modernism and to the idea of program were mounted.7 Much like contemporary architects, the young practitioners of the 1960s were faced with a rapidly transforming world. For this gener-

ation, the battle of the heroic era of modern architecture was not even a memory. On the contrary, in the eyes of manysuch as historian Reyner Banham, Archigram, or the Metabolistshigh modernism, with its fixed structures and half-century-old technology, had failed to meet the eras demands for more flexible spaces. But this was by no means a wholesale rejection of modernism. If there was a drive to the future, it consciously styled itself Neo-Futurist. In this light, Banham recovered SantElia and Mendelsohn in order to advocate Megastructures and Archigram, while Warren Chalk, in his Ghosts collage for Archigram 7, invoked Mies van der Rohes Fiftyby-Fifty House project as well as Le Corbusiers Ronchamp. Even as the neo-avant-garde rejected the increasingly obsolete modernism, it also sought to revive the principles, questions, and energy of the first modernist moment. Indeed this tactic is not unique to architects; writing both about the 1960s artistic neo-avant-gardes return to the work of the 1920s and 1930s and about Althusser and Lacans returns to Marx and Freud, respectively, Hal Foster identifies a common impulse to reconnect with a lost practice in order to disconnect from a present way felt to be outmoded, misguided, or otherwise oppressive.8 Resort to this method is a further, crucial similarity between the 1960s and the present day. For if practitioners from that era pioneered the conscious recuperation of the past as a way of distancing themselves from a problematic present, we deploy it without so much as a second thought. If the radicals of the 1960s sought to revive Futurisms spirit as they dreamed up their inflatables and plug-ins, they did so in reaction to the rapid transformation of their contemporary world. During the first twenty years of the postwar era, the Fordist regime of big business, big government, mass production, limited consumer choice, rationalized consumption patterns, and Keynesian fiscal policy had successfully generated a long, sustained economic boom that, by the mid-1960s, seemed inexhaustible to many. Emerging at the booms end, the neo-avant-garde of the first half of the decade was still informed by it and, hence, could serve only as a transitional movement in architecture, its interest in specialized throw-away plug-in units, planned obsolescence, and self-assembling mechanical gadgetry the product of a faith in technology that accompanied Fordisms success. And yet their appeal to the young, hip consumer was also inspired by a realization that the production-oriented Fordist approach would be incapable of exceeding a certain level of economic growth. So long as thrift, utility, and responsibility were deeply engrained in the cultural mindset, consumption would be satiated and the velocity of money would remain steady. By the late 1960s, in both America and abroad, the long postwar boom was exhausted and post-Fordist restructuring began.9 The post-Fordist restructuring crisis was accompanied by a counter-cultural youth movement that rejected mass society for what it envisioned as the free pursuit of desire. Boomers and 68ers alike turned their backs on traditional values and instead followed feelings of reason, seeking lifestyles oriented around consumption and self-fulfillment rather than production and familial or corporate obligation. They were not alone for long. In his book The Conquest of Cool, Thomas Frank convincingly demonstrated that advertisers and corporate marketers rapidly co-opted the countercultures disgust with mass society through their promotion of a hip consumerism, a new consumer culture driven by desire, a rejection of conformity, and style as a means of rebellion.10

Four Homogeneous Living Diagrams: The initial grid (this page, left) is modified by the introduction of various elements, including both normative architectural interventions (facing page left) and spontaneous figuration (this page, right).

Unlike the discretely planned Fordist world, the programmed post-Fordist world exists under constant modulation. For the PostFordist corporation, niche marketing and flexible production, once the purview of the hip boutique, replace mass marketing and mass production. Governments have given up the dream of the planned welfare-state economy that provides for all while delivering steady growth for an economy dominated by big, vertically-integrated corporations. Instead, governments have replaced Keynesianism with the constant fine-tuning of monetarist policy as well as the encouragement of more entrepreneurially-structured multinationals. So too, the very goals of production have changed. No longer do advanced economies pursue the production of physical objects. On the contrary, developed countries specialize in services, information, and media while outsourcing industrial production to the developing world.11 Architecture, too, became subject to this epochal transformation. By the late 1960s, the faith in technology had soured. As young people rejected societys traditional values and structures, both modern architecture and the profession as a whole, overly identified with big government and big business, came under attack. In North America, architecture programs refigured themselves as environmental design. Instead of enrolling in architecture school, hippies began building ad-hoc communes and dome villages.12 The entire field was in a crisis, concluded Robert Geddes in a 1967 special report commissioned by the American Institute of Architects.13 Mainstream architecture attempted to co-opt counter-cultures critiques by embracing early sixties neo-avant-garde ideas. Alternative construction methods were demonstrated at the Montreal Expo 67, where a massive geodesic dome was constructed, Moshe Safdie adopted Archigrams plug-in for his modular Habitat, and Rolf Gutbrod and Frei Otto erected a lightweight,

tent-like German pavilion. By 1969, no less an establishment voice than Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill founder Nathaniel Owings wrote The American Aesthetic, registering concern about the destruction of the nations environment and proposing the John Hancock Centers megastructural density as a solution to environmental ills produced by urban sprawl. Nevertheless, late 1960s radicals dismissed such solutions, together with the early sixties neo-avant-garde proposals, as overly optimistic about the powers of technology and oppressive in their reliance on the topdown plan.14 Among the radical critics of the late 1960s, Italian Marxist architectural historian Manfredo Tafuri stands foremost. In his 1969 essay for the journal Contropiano, Towards a Critique of Architectural Ideology, he identifies architectures aspirations toward the organization of society as bankrupt. Tafuri argues that while the avant-garde set out to solve the problem of the city through the architectural plan, that plan was now subsumed by the Keynesian welfare states economic plan. The result is the exhaustion of modernism itself: architecture as the ideology of the Plan is swept away by the reality of the Plan the moment the plan came down from utopia and became an operant mechanism.15 Tafuri proposes that the architect must abandon any goals of changing society through architecture. In his subsequent writings, Tafuri outlines three limited choices available for architects: ideology critique wielded by the historian; the fatalistic development of a language of formalist silence by the neo-avant-gardeas epitomized by Aldo Rossi or Peter Eisenman; or an acceptance of architectures complicity with capital and the establishment of a cordon sanitaire between radical politics and architecture.16 Certainly, Tafuris analysis of the architectural plan within a broader ideological context is brilliant but, for all his insight, Tafuri


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is a man of first modernity and the owl of Minerva spreads her wings at dusk: the collapse of the welfare state was well advanced by 1969 and the planned economy would itself soon be a thing of the past. Even as Tafuri observed the modernist plans irrelevancy at the hands of Fordist state planning, the Keynesian economic plan was well on its way to being superseded by the programmed modulations of post-Fordism. But if Tafuri missed the transition to post-Fordism, a growing movement in Italy called Architettura Radicale did not. By the mid1960s, Italy became a hotbed of questioning and alternative design practice. Both Tafuri and Andrea Branzi, the leader of Archizoom, suggest that, perversely, it is the countrys industrially backward condition that lay behind these explorations.17 The rise of hip consumerism and the transition to the fashion oriented niche market began to influence Italy early in the decade, and since, unlike much of the developed world, Italian industry had never fully adopted Fordism and instead largely employed obsolete, preFordist methods of manufacturing and construction, the country readily absorbed these changes. In its relatively backward production, Italy could not aspire to Scandinavian or German rationalist, mass-produced modernism. Instead, design objects were largely oriented toward a fashion-conscious luxury market, a market that began as the neo-Liberty revival of Italian Art Nouveau but swiftly moved toward hip consumerism. The result would be stylish, pop products such as Joe Colombos 1962 Acrilica table lamp, Vico Magistrettis 1965 Eclisse table lamp, or Ettore Sottsasss 1969 Olivetti typewriter. Crucially, this nascent post-Fordist design was closely integrated with the countrys architectural discourse since, at the time, Italian design was the realm not of specialists but rather of young architects seeking opportunity when jobs in their own field were scarce. 18

Still, in the mid-1960s, Florence seemed to be the least likely place for experimentation, stuck in its role as a historic tourist destination in a country just recovering from the War. As with Italy as a whole, however, this very backwardness proved productive. The touristic focus on objects as producers of affect, the impossibility of producing realizable architectural proposals, the new design spreading throughout the country, and the academys fascination with both radical politics and Pop Art coupled with a paradoxical display of Le Corbusiers work in the Palazzo Strozzi in 1962as well as the massive flood of the river Arno in 1966generated an atmosphere that inspired radical, unbuildable proposals and nurtured the groups Archizoom Associati and Superstudio. The result was Architettura Radicale, a movement that questioned modernism but also dismissed the more recent technological solutions of plug-ins, inflatables, and modular architecture and drew a tense relationship to the hip consumerism emerging in design during this period. 19 Architettura Radicale began with two joint exhibits by Archizoom and Superstudio entitled Superarchitecture, the first in Pistoia in 1966, the second in Modena in 1967, exploring the intersection of architecture and furniture in a heady atmosphere informed by pop culture. Superarchitecture was inspired by the Piper Club, a mod disco that operated in Rome beginning in 1965, and that had many imitators throughout Italy. The effect of the Piper Club was, according to Andrea Branzi, the leader of Archizoom, the total estrangement of the subject, who gradually lost control of his inhibitions in dance, moving towards a sort of psychomotor liberation. This did not mean for us a passive surrender to the consumption of aural and visual stimuli, but a liberation of the full creative potential of the individual. In this sense the political significance of the Pipers was evident as well. In the shows announcements, Superarchitecture is described as the

this page: A model of No-Stop City is built inside a mirrored box, generating an unending repetition of the gigantic, big-box structure, and emphasizing the arbitrary quality of its exterior. For Archizoom the gridded, horizontal No-Stop City was meant to replace the obsolete model of the traditional, bounded city. below: Ludwig Hilberseimers Hochhausstadt (High-Rise City) (1924), with its infinite grid of featureless structures, proved an important model for Archizooms NoStop City. But Hilberseimers city without qualities still held onto notions of space, street, and building exterior, while in No-Stop City the distinction between architecture and urbanity was utterly collapsed.

For Archizoom and other members of Architettura Radicale, however, hip consumerism, with its quest for fashion, obsolescence, and flexibility, was anathema. Rejecting the myths peculiar to the design of the sixties, based on flexibility, unit assembly and mass-production, Branzi called for unitary objects and spaces that were solid, immobile and aggressive in their almost physical force of communication." In projects like Archizooms Naufragio di Rose, Presagio di rose or Rosa dArabia or Ettore Sottsasss laminate furniture, these designers, eventually declaring themselves as the Antidesign movement, introduced a deliberately antihip consumerism. Branzi was unequivocal in his rejection of hip architecture of superproduction, of superconsumption, of superinducement to consumption, of the supermarket, of Superman, of super-high-test gasoline. Superarchitecture accepts the logic of production and consumption and makes an effort to demystify it.20 The integration of production and consumption into a critique of the same system, the pursuit of neither resistance nor autonomy but exacerbation and overload is Superarchitectures seminal innovation and a strategy subsequently deployed by Architettura Radicale and Archizoom in particular.21 consumerism: We want to bring into the house everything that has been left out: contrived banality, intentional vulgarity, urban fittings, biting dogs. 22 However, Branzis argument also had a more Oedipal target: modernism and architectures role in creating social plans. Branzi would later reflect on the period: mistrust of architecture and the instruments of planning was growing; the now open crisis in the Modern Movement came to be seen as a final day of reckoning, symptom of mortal illness in a discipline that, born as the most


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advanced point of the system, had become its most backward sector. the problem lay not so much in the quality of the design as in the very presence of architecture as such, with its spaces for observing and its metaphorical messages getting in the way of any radical refoundation of human settlements.23 Architettura Radicale, Branzi explains, came to understand that the architecture of the future would not emerge from an abstract act of design but from a different form of usit had to work on a continuum of the present, refraining from making strategic projections into the futureDoing architecture became an activity of free expression, just as making love means not just producing children but communicating through sex. 24 For Architettura Radicale, then, the praxis of architecture was envisioned as an expanded field, surpassing the act of simply making buildings. Nor was this a question of merely using the tools of architecture as a mode of critique. That would be Superstudios task.25 On the contrary, for Archizoom, architecture was a research project, more akin to the present-day
OMA/AMOalbeit pursuing research through architecture rather

A comparison of No-Stop City with Hilberseimers Hochhausstadt project of 1924 reveals not only Hilberseimers influence but also the radical differences between the two moments. Both projects include a bleak, infinite grid of featureless structures extending to the vanishing point and beyond. The subject, in both cases, is no longer autonomous and whole but exists only as integrated into a larger system. If the Hochhausstadt, as K. Michael Hays writes, shifts architectural meaning from the aesthetic realm to a deeper logic of the socioeconomic metropolis, so does No-Stop City. But Hays concludes that Hochhausstadt was a dead end for Hilberseimer; afterwards, his architecture all but ceased to develop: we are led to focus on the apparent fact that logically, axiomatically, such a totalizing organizationone in which the productive, causal source of signification is based on reproductioncan only be repeated. All that was left for Hilberseimer was to endlessly reproduce the socioeconomic conditions of capital, giving architectural form to his moment of capitalism.30 If in Hilberseimers project the difference between each building unit and the urban order was abolished, in No-Stop City the difference between architecture and urbanity itself was abolished. Hochhausstadt still acknowledged the critical importance of urban space and the street, whereas No-Stop City rejected it. Moreover, where Hilberseimers Hochhausstadt representations focused on the exterior, Archizooms No-Stop City images were generally interior. When an exterior to No-Stop City was depicted, it was included incidentally, proving that any exterior was arbitrary. This ambivalence differentiated it from Superstudios Continuous Monument, which sought to announce architecture to a world that had abandoned it. The question of architectures exterior was crucial to Archizoom, for it was tied into the changed conditions of capital, signification, and urbanism under what soon became known as late capitalism. Archizoom began No-Stop City with the premise that, given the spread of trade and commerce, the citys historical role was displaced by electronic media:
Nowadays there can be no hesitation in admitting that the urban phenomenon is the weakest point in the whole industrial system. The metropolis, once the traditional birthplace of progress is today, in fact, the most backward and confused sector of Capital in its actual state; and this is true to such an extent, that one is led to wonder if the modern city is nothing more than a problem which has not been solved, or if, in reality, it is not a historical phenomenon which has been objectively superseded.31

than graphic designthan to Daniel Libeskind or Peter Eisenman of the 1980s. In contrast to Tafuris pessimistic verdict, then, Architettura Radicale maintained a continued neo-avant-garde role for the designer. For this Tafuri roundly condemns Architettura Radicale, concluding that its position is nothing but a provocation for the elite, occupying the marginal position staked out by postwar Italian design when it turned to production of luxury objects.26 In response, Branzi agreed that the task of the architectural plan and the architectural avant-garde was over; however, unlike Tafuri, he believed that the post-Fordist culture emerging around him radically changed the terms of the situation.27 Archizooms response to Tafuri emerged in its most significant project, the Critical Utopia of No-Stop City, begun in 1969 and published in Domus in 1971. Whereas in their projective utopias, Archigram and the Metabolists hoped to realize their plans for a neo-mechanical architecture and a dynamic metropolis, Archizoom developed No-Stop City, like Superstudios contemporary Continuous Monument, as purely cognitive, aiming for a level of clarity beyond that of reality itself. For Archizoom, NoStop City performed a scientific analysis of the contemporary urban condition, simultaneously utopian and dystopian, that is, beyond good and evil, employing the abstract, theoretical, and conjectural tools of architectural representation. The city is treated as a chemical datum to understand its formation and impact. Referring to this kind of conceptual project, Germano Celant would later conclude, Nowadays, the architect and designer do not produce more ideas, they rid themselves of ideas, producing ideal programs that are less ideas, mental liberations from ones own acting and being.28 Branzi explains: No-Stop City was a mental project, a sort of theoretical diagram of an amoral city, a city without qualities, as Hilberseimer would have described itThe nihilistic logic of the maximum quantity was the only logic of the system in which we were living; instead of denying this logic, we decided to make use of its inner workings to achieve a demystification of all its ideals of quality and at the same time to carry out scientific research into the real nature of the metropolis29

Archizooms point was that if the metropolis emerged as the physical center for trade, the universality and totality of electronic media undid its function: The metropolis ceases to be a place, to become a condition: in fact, it is just this condition which is made to circulate uniformly, through Consumer Products, in the social phenomenon. The future dimension of the metropolis coincides with that of the market itself.32 In other words, universal accessibility to consumer goods obviates the market, thereby making obsolete the metropoliss concentrating function. The metropolis, which concerned Hilberseimer so deeply, manifested itself visually in the skyline, which, Archizoom explained, serves as a diagram of the natural accumulation which has taken the place of Capital itself. So the bourgeois metropolis remains

this page: Interior mock-ups of No-Stop City demonstrate it as a space waiting to be programmed by end-users.

mainly a visual place, and its experience remains tied to that type of communication.33 In their own day, however, Archizoom observed a fundamental mutation in capital: the social organization of labour by means of Planning eliminates the empty space in which Capital expanded during its growth period. In fact, no reality exists any longer outside the system itself: the whole visual relationship with reality loses importance as the distance between the subject and the phenomenon collapses. The city no longer represents the system, but becomes the system itself, programmed and isotropic, and within it the various functions are contained homogeneously, without contradictions.34 Unlike Tafuri, then, who maintained a special place outside capitalism for the revolutionary and the historian, Archizoom discerned, before Ernest Mandels 1972 book Late Capitalism and nearly a decade prior to Fredric Jamesons 1983 essay, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, the total colonization of the world by capital and the consequent loss of the distinction between interior and exterior.35

With the end of a qualitative distinction between the rural and the urban, both city and architecture cease to have representational roles. The skyline is dead, as are areas of concentration and, implicitly, structures of any architectural quality: In a programmized society, the management of interests no longer needs to be organized on the spot where trade is to take place. The complete penetrability and accessibility of the territory does away with the terminus city and permits the organization of a progressive network of organisms of control over the area.36 If capital no longer needs to represent itself to a non-capitalist, rural externality through the city, then the city, now encompassing the earth, can be refigured: pure programming of a social and physical reality completely continuous and undifferentiated.37 In place of the concentrated metropolis, Archizoom reduced the urban realm of No-Stop City to a question of quantity. Initially, NoStop City took the form of Homogeneous Living Diagrams, typewriter generated fields of periods punctuated with a point grid of


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Xs that demonstrate the quantitative origins of No-Stop City. Branzi would later ask, What is a city? You could say that a city is a bath every 100 metres, or a computer every 40 metres, etc. These are quantifiable data making up a city. Archizoom deemed these drawings too threatening to architects to publish.38 As No-Stop City developed, it acquired structure as an endlessly repeated field of gigantic structures, themselves nearly limitless, modeled on the supermarket and the factory. For Archizoom, these were the structures of programming, the natural consequence of emerging social organizations:
Production and Consumption possess one and the same ideology, which is that of Programming. Both hypothesize a social and physical reality completely continuous and undifferentiated. No other realities exist. The factory and the supermarket become the specimen models of the future city: optimal urban structures, potentially limitless, where human functions are arranged spontaneously in a free field, made uniform by a system of microacclimatization and optimal circulation of information. The natural and spontaneous balance of light and air is superseded: the house becomes a well equipped parking lot. Inside it there exist no hierarchies nor spatial figurations of a conditioning nature.39

Mark Rothko, I see a picture dissolving into a single color. When I read Joyces Ulysses, I see writing disappearing into thought. When I listen to John Cage, I hear music dissipating into noise. All that is part of me. But architecture has never confronted the theme of managing its own death while still remaining alive, as all the other twentieth-century disciplines have. This is why it has lagged behind42

Unlike Hilberseimers fatal compulsion to repeat the Hochhausstadt project, Archizoom, which dissolved in 1974, never replicated NoStop City, nor did they or Branzi nostalgically return to traditional ideas of architecture and planning. Branzi later reflected on the plan:
The idea that the architect is a person who expresses himself only through his plans is stupidity. Today, industry and the metropolis require different contributions than the simple plan, which always presupposes the quest for a formal, figurative solution to problems. At the same time, it may also be that the problems do not need to be resolved or represented; it may be more important to invent them43

Instead, architecture is free to pursue a new projectthat Tafuri could not or would not envisionin the postindustrial society, that of creating new relationships. This new, expanded architect takes some logical mechanisms and analytical processes from modern architecture but disdains the tools of the discipline.44 For Branzi, the architect becomes invaluable as a technocratic co-ordinator of human and technical resources, abandoning the old role of a constructor of artifacts once and for all.45 Much like Freudian therapy, No-Stop City served as both diagnosis and cure. Archizoom named the problemthat late capitalism has no use for the traditional bounded city and substitutes instead a blank, limitless field, be it the physical terrain vague or the global telecommunications networkand allowed architects to understand how to go beyond the world of physical objects and enter into a collision of codes that marks the new transurban condition. This issue is of even greater consequence today. No-Stop City is now a fact: globalization has spread the markets reach to the furthest ends of the Earth, telecommunications has radically reconfigured our notions of space, and the device of the Big Boxso well anticipated in No-Stop Citys limitless structuresis now ubiquitous, in exurbia, suburbia, and city alike.46 Embracing programming over program means that architects need to be willing to let unpredictable effects take over while finding ways of hacking codes, both digital and physical. We can see this emerging in works such as Foreign Office Architects Yokohama Terminal, Rem Koolhaass urban plan for Melun-Senart, and NL Architects WOS 8 heat transfer station; in works at the boundaries of architecture such as Mark Shepards Tactical Sound Garden Toolkit, Meejin Yoons White Noise/White Light, or AUDCs Windows on the World; as well as in the kind of interior design, often ephemeral, deployed by firms such as Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, Neil M. Denari Architects, and servo. Much like the recent publishing boom, the current building boom is an end condition as we cross the threshold toward a world dominated by virtuality and immaterial culture. How architects embrace this new territory and the new techniques for engaging it determines whether architecture dissipates in this immaterial century or becomes one of its a central fields of research.

In Archizooms big box, interior climates were perfected through artificial light and ventilation while limitless communication was made possible through information networks. These structures exterior boundaries are merely arbitrary, not privileged in any way in plan. Branzi would later reflect on the project:
By introducing the principle of artificial lighting and ventilation on an urban scale, the No-Stop City avoided the continual fragmentation of real property typical of traditional urban morphology: the city became a continuous residential structure, devoid of gaps, and therefore of architectural images. By the installation of a regular grid of lifts, the great levels, theoretically infinite, whose boundaries were of no interest whatsoever, could be laid out freely in accordance with differences in function or new forms of social aggregation.40

When Archizoom did represent the exterior of No-Stop City, they often merely placed models in a mirror box, creating an endless, banal repetition of one giant structure after another. Inside, NoStop City serves as a kind of residential Bro Landschaft, allowing the individuals full realization within utterly neutral spaces. The freestanding structures and landscape deployed within No-Stop City at random intervals ensure that ones scope of vision is localized to a discrete area of the gargantuan floorplate. Having eliminated architectures representational role, Archizoom proposes, the problem becomes that of freeing mankind from architecture insomuch as it is a formal structure.41 If Tafuri had earlier declared the death of architecture, Archizoom did no less in this statement. However a crucial difference emerges. Tafuri believed the death would be punctual and final whereas Archizoom saw death as a means of the disciplines growth. In a later interview, Branzi recalled:
All the most vital aspects of modern culture run directly toward that void, to regenerate themselves in another dimension, to free themselves of their disciplinary chains. When I look at a canvas by

Notes 1. These twin poles are exemplified by two essays: Bernard Tschumi, Architecture and Transgression, Architecture and Disjunction (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1996), 65-80 and Rem Koolhaas, Typical Plan, S, M, L, XL (New York: Monacelli Press, 1998), 334-350. 2. Two recent dissertations treat the emergence of these discourses in the academy. Jorge Otero-Pailoss excellent Theorizing the Anti-Avant-Garde: Invocations of Phenomenology in Architectural Discourse, 1945-1989. (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Dissertation, Department of Architecture, 2002) examines the development of phenomenology, while my own The Spectacle of the Innocent Eye (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Dissertation, History of Architecture and Urbanism, 1994) investigates the emergence of formalism. The death of theory is played out principally in Assemblage; early hints can be found in Assemblage 27: The Tulane Papers (August 1995) and the topic is much discussed in the final issue, Assemblage 41 (April 2000). 3. Ulrich Beck, The Transition from the First to the Second Modernity, in The Brave New World of Work (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2000), 17-35. On the challenge posed by this new regime to architecture see my pair of articles in Log: One Thing After Another, Log 3, September, 2004, and Prada and the Pleasure Principle, Log 6, forthcoming. 4. Manuel Castells, The Space of Flows, in The Rise of the Network Society, second edition, (New York: Blackwell, 2001), 406-459. 5. See Felicity D. Scott, Involuntary Prisoners of Architecture, October 106, Fall 2003, 75-101. In itself a return, exploring the work of Superstudio, Scotts essay thoughtfully critiques the more problematic returns to the 1960s in contemporary architectural discourse. 6. Mark Wigley, Network Fever, Grey Room 4, Summer 2001, 82-122. 7. See, for example, Charles Jencks, Architecture 2000. Predictions and Methods. (New York: Praeger, 1971). 8. Hal Foster, Whats Neo about the Neo-Avant-Garde? October 70 (Autumn 1994), 7. 9. A succinct explanation of this transition and its consequences for culture can be found in David Harvey, From Fordism to Flexible Accumulation, David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity. An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, (Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1989), 141-172. 10. See Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool. Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997). 11. This correspondence of planned/Fordist and programmed/post-Fordist can best be explained by the distinction that Gilles Deleuze makes in his brief essay Postscript on Societies of Control. Deleuze begins by recounting Foucaults theory of a disciplinary modernity functioning through enclosures, planned environments whose purpose is to concentrate; to distribute in space; to order in time. Deleuze observes that increasingly control is produced not through the molds formed by enclosures, but rather through an ever-present series of programmed modulations taking the form of a self-deforming cast that will continuously change from one moment to another. In the society of control, power is not fixed but rather is the product of ultrarapid free-floating forms of control. Thus, instead of asking employees to conform to a pre-established hierarchy, the corporation now expects them to identify with, and enter, an ever-changing flow. If Fordist disciplinary society perfected the mechanical regime of discipline, aiming to regulate workers in the factory like cogs in a machine, the specialized product of plans, drawn once, the Post-Fordist society of control operates in the regime of the computer, with its infinite flexibility, run by programs composed of easily modifiable code. And if, in the hierarchical disciplinary society, the possession of the plan determines who has power, as Deleuze observes, in the society of control, power disseminates insidiously throughout so that everyone is both master and slave. 12. One aspect of the anti-architectural movement of the late 1960s is charted by Simon Sadler in Drop City Revisited, an essay in a special issue edited by George Dodds and myself, 1966: Forty Years After, Journal of Architectural Education (February 2006), volume 59, number 3, 5-14. 13. Robert L. Geddes and Bernard P. Spring, Final Report. A Study of Education Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, (Princeton University: December 1967). 14. By the late 1960s, Archigram was quite unpopular. Elia Zenghelis states Archigram were our enemies; well, they were our friends as people, but intellectually we opposed them. In Lieven De Cuter and Hilde Heynen, The Exodus Machine, Martin van Schaik and Otaker Mcel, Exit Utopia: Architectural Provocations 1956-76 (Munich: Prestel, 2005), 269. See also Martin Pawleys melancholy lament for Archigram, We Shall Not Bulldoze Westminster Abbey: Archigram and the Retreat from Technology, in Oppositions 7 (Winter, 1976), 2535, and Peter Eisenmans biting condemnation of Archigram in his introduction to

Pawleys piece: As the Modern Movement died in 1939, so too did this neo-functionalism of Archigram die in 1968. What remains is the joyless demiurge and the dark side of the English witsnarkiness. 15. Manfredo Tafuri, Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology, Contropiano 1 (January-April 1969), reprinted in K. Michael Hays, ed., Architecture Theory Since 1968 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997), 28. 16. See Manfredo Tafuri, Architecture and Utopia: Design and Capitalist Development, (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1976). 17. See Manfredo Tafuri, Design and Technological Utopia, in Emilio Ambasz, ed., Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1972), 388. Also, Andrea Branzi in Franois Burkhardt and Cristina Morozzi, Andrea Branzi, (Paris: ditions dis Voiir, 1997), 59. On the Italian scene in the early 1960s see the essay by Mary-Lou Lobsinger also in 1966: Forty Years After, JAE, (February 2006), volume 59, number 3, 28-39. 18. See also Lesley Jackson. The Sixties. Decade of Design Revolution (London: Phaidon, 1998), 157-161. 19. On the scene in Florence in the mid-1960s and the genesis of Architettura Radicale see Germano Celant in Ambasz, Italy: The New Domestic Landscape and Peter Lang, Suicidal Desires in Peter Lang and William Menking, Superstudio. Life Without Objects. (Milan: Skira, 2003), 31-52 as well as a number of the essays produced for van Schaik and Mcel, Exit Utopia: Sander Woertman, The Distant Winking of a Star, or the Horror of the Real, 146-155; Andrea Branzi, Notes on No-Stop City: Archizoom Associates 1969-72, 177-182; Adolfo Natalini, How Great Architecture Still Was in 1966Superstudio and Radical Architecture, Ten Years On, 185-190. Branzi takes pains to note that Architettura Radicale was not monolithic but rather composed of diverse individuals who in time produced completely different results, Branzi, Notes on NoStop City, 177. Branzi cites the influence of two projects in the show on Corbusier: Chandigarhwhose plans replicated the caste system that regimented Indian society, without showing how to overcome itas well as a master plan for Algiers that juxtaposed the historic Arab Kasbah and recent European planning without offering any form of mediation, Notes on No-Stop City, 179. 20. Andrea Branzi, The Hot House: Italian New Wave Design, (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984), 54. 21. Ibid. 22. Ibid., 55. 23. Ibid. 24. Ibid., 58-60. 25. On the differences between Archizoom and Superstudio, see Peter Lang, Suicidal Desires, in Lang and Menking, Superstudio. Life Without Objects, 44-48. 26. Tafuri Design and Technological Utopia, in Ambasz, ed., Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, 394-395. 27. Branzi does mention Tafuris death of architecture in The Hot House, 73. 28. Celant, Radical Architecture, in Ambasz, ed., Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, 386. 29. Branzi, The Hot House, 76. 30. K. Michael Hays, Modernism and the Posthumanist Subject. The Architecture of Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Hilberseimer (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992), 178-183. 31. Archizoom Associates, No-Stop City. Residential Parkings. Climatic Universal Sistem Domus 496, March 1971, 53. 32. Ibid. 33. Ibid., 54. 34. Ibid., 55. 35. Here, against all my impulses as a historian, I nevertheless am compelled to suggest that Branzi and Archizoom are able to see the limitations of Tafuris position because they understand themselves to be within the system, not at a privileged point outside the system. 36. Ibid., 53. 37. Archizoom Associates, No-Stop City, 55. 38. Woertman, The Distant Winking of a Star, or the Horror of the Real, 153. 39. Archizoom Associates, No-Stop City, 55. 40. Branzi, The Hot House, 70 41. Archizoom Associates, No-Stop City, 55. 42. Branzi interviewed in Burkhardt and Morozzi, 49-50. 43. Branzis in Burkhaqrdte and Morozzi, Andrea Branzi, 51. 44. Branzi, The Hot House, 76. 45. Ibid., 75-76. 46. On the ubiquity of the big box, see Paul Goldberger, The Malling of Manhattan, Metropolis, March, 2001, 136-139, 179.


Varnelis: Programming After Program 91

this page: In No-Stop City the house becomes a furnished parking lot, the city modeled on the factory and supermarket.