Which do you think offers more useful lessons to today’s architecture students, Archigram magazine or High-rise social housing?
Modernism in architecture realm, itself is full of controversies and evolution. The definition of modernism, modern or modernity in architecture area has been highly discussed through the development of architecture by plenty of scholars and architects. In general, “Modern” means something pure, logical, universal, rational or at least international (Glendinning and Muthesius, 1956). Both Archigram magazine and High-rise social housing have strongly influenced British Modernism. Archigram proposed fantastic designs with lots ...view middle of the document...
During working on the first issue, several young people who were just graduated from Architecture Association were already fascinated by the content of Archigram. Although the first issue did not receive many reactions from public, the passion, spirit and idea of it were already starting to lead and affect British Modernism. As time goes by the following issues have been published successively, the forth issue could be treated as the most memorable one, because it was the first one that has been sold in worldwide. More and more people joined Archigram, such as Dennis Crompton, Warren Chalk, Reyner Banham, Mike Webb and so forth. The themes and topics became more diverse and dynamic, for instance “Blow-Out Village, an inflatable canopy with a hydraulically raised mast was designed to rehouse people hit by disaster; Walking City, a town compose of huge structures capable of moving on telescopic legs; and Plug-In City, a real-life Legoland in which buildings could be assembled together and adapted randomly (Allardice, 2004)”. The famous Monte Carlo project was the latest work that was actually getting something constructed, the project aimed to build a major entertainments center, but it ended in lack of funds. The significant contribution of British Modernism made by Archigram magazine is non-ignorable over the past several decades. It seemed that the Archigram magazine brought a brainstorm and a visual shock against classical architecture. Archigram is unique because it provided luxuriant imaginations and fantasies to modern architecture. The chief people of Archigram magazine could be honestly treated as great prophets in modern architecture realm. The design called Instant City of Archigram adopted “the creation of a network that would provide the provinces a taste of the metropolitan dynamic, applying airships to transport a series of audiovisual display systems and exhibits across the country, can be seen as a precursor of the internet” (Allardice, 2004). The development of an entertainment society was accurately predicted and the significance of information was early realized by Archigram group in 1960s (Allardice, 2004). However, it was incredible that the Archigram barely constructed anything. Critically speaking this group actually consisted of a bunch of theorists and ideologists.
2.2 High-rise social housing
The postwar Modern dwelling in Britain was defined to be thoroughly different from inside and outside (Glendinning and Muthesius, 1956). Generally “Modern” represented an entirely new form of dwelling altogether; some brand-new methods of construction were adapted while building multi-storey blocks. Nevertheless today’s comments on Modernism concentrate on emphasizing paradox and contradiction (Glendinning and Muthesius, 1956). Some scholars criticized that the initial definitions of “Modern” lead the architectures in the wrong directions (Powers, Silberberg-Peirce and Fraser, 1986). Furthermore, the representative persons of...