|Peter Cook's Kunsthaus. Wikipedia|
But I recall one installation at the MCA exhibit that took the ideas seemingly far beyond the reach of reality. The concept was centered around a 1970's era theory of building a high-tech nomadic existence for western civilization. In this scenario, families no longer needed to crowd into communities or edifices - they would live and travel throughout nature in Bedouin-style, portable, high-tech, inflatable homes that would plug into circuitry built amidst the natural surroundings and then disconnect and deflate to a back-pack size for transport. The bearded, caveman-like figures in the exhibit's accompanying film evoked vivid impressions of a 1970's Planet of the Apes stylization.
|Walking City Archigram, 1964. Image: Westminster.AC.|
Utopian architectural ideas are fascinating worlds through which to navigate. I especially enjoy perusing a variety of presentation media created to communicate the concepts, from the bold drawings of the Italian Futurists to the the models of Le Corbusier to Peter Cook's colorful mix of contemporary advertising graphics and architectural conceptualization.
Unfortunately, the few utopian projects that have made it from the drawing board to construction have not always fared so well - many of Le Corbusier's best attempts at urban planning have resulted in dismal Parisian slums.
|Linear City, Arturo Soria, 1913. Image: Wikipedia.|
The brief film below nicely documents some of the most renowned utopian cities drawn up over the past few centuries.--D.A. DeMers.
Included above: Robert Owen's New Harmony, Charles Fourier's Phalanstère, Etienne Cabet's Icarie (1848), Tony Garnier's Industrial City (1901-1904), E. Chambless' Roadtown (1910), Arturo Soria's Linear City (1913), Sant'Elia and Chiattone's futurist cities (1914), Le Corbusier's Contemporary City (1922), Ludwig Hilberseimer's Vertical City (1924). Paolo Soleri's Arcology and Peter Cook's Archigram projects. Music by Brian Eno, from Music for Films.