Bathrooms, bubbles and systems : archigram and the landscapes of transience
Author(s)Steiner, Hadas Anna
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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The dissertation studies the Archigram, the primary avant-garde architectural publication in Britain from 1961 to 1970, and the related avant-garde practices that engendered the high-tech movement. Drawing on the histories of technology, architecture and popular culture, the study explores the roots of architecture's foray into the realm of electronic information. By challenging the machine-based model of technology that had defined modernist architectural theory and production, my thesis unfolds, the publishers of the Archigram struggled to reconcile architectural form with emerging technologies and to represent visually the dissolution of the artifact into a landscape of complex and indeterminate systems. This attempt to conceive an essentially material object, such as a house, in a world viewed as a series of impulses was among the earliest architectural explorations of the dilemmas introduced by electronic culture. Using the concept of mobility and flux as a unifying thread, the dissertation examines the strategy for developing an architecture based in the practice of representation and of dissemination. The desire to set structures in motion by liberating them from the anchor of urban infrastructures required a reconsideration of the architectural object. For architecture to fully abandon its traditional role as environmental hardware, the conflict between the processes of indeterminacy and the dependence of those processes on a closed system would have to be overcome.(cont.) This tension between the physical and the dematerialized led from megastructural networks to self-contained skins, and finally to the disintegration of architectural objects into a technologically driven version of the Picturesque. In the ultimate merging of the environmental domain with that of information, architecture would become its absence, marked in the landscape only as the residue of a nomadic culture of information.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2001.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 168-175).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology