Architecture’s Experimental Field generates a new understanding of contemporary conditions. The urge to test boundaries is not an attempt to create a ‘new’ field, but rather to re-appropriate existing conditions. Before examining architecture’s implied boundaries, it is important to deem architecture as a medium rather than a system. Man’s medium. As Peter Cook addresses in 1969, “It is said that the world has entered a state of greater activity and movement than ever before.” As designers, artist, architects, ETC., became aware and willing to break from modern statutes architecture’s symbols and zones became redefined. Architecture became an experience about the body and/in space. Architects such as Coop Himmelblau, UFO, Archizoom, and others pushed against Modern theory of design and began to defy typical functionalism. As the allies of the original post-modern movement formed there are two relevant assumptions. As technology and media rapidly moved into every home it also moved into the arts. The integration of technology into households allowed for media to gain public power. A new sense of information is available. This new sense of awareness is directly correlated to architecture. When media invades space, what has space become? How does the spectator fit in space? As technology and society evolve, prior assumptions must be challenged. Archigram’s ‘Living City' (image 1) may suggest that the society and man can move as fast as the contemporary times. Where as the group UFO parades giant inflatables through the public streets. Architecture’s concerns of dealing with a body in space is not a new idea. However, defining what a ‘body’ and what ‘space’ is has changed. The investigation and analysis of the first renegade experimentalists during the 1960’s will prove useful in tracking its lineage to contemporary design. The insertion of available media in to society during the 1960’s spawned a new relationship between body, space, and representation. FOR FULL ARTICLE>CLICK IMAGE ABOVE.
Thank Jason Menz and Christina Anton for the collaboration.
ARCHITECTURE'S EXPERIMENTAL FIELD