Yesterday's Future: Visionary Designs by Future Systems and Archigram

Prestel Pub

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This book explores extraordinary 20th-century utopian architecture from the prominent architecture groups Archigram and Future Systems. Filled with drawings, collages, and models, this book examines how each firm’s utopian vision was shaped by the times in which it was conceived. The designs by Archigram, a Londonbased firm headed by Peter Cook, Ron Herron and Dennis Crompton, date back to the moon landing and an era filled with hope for new beginnings. By contrast, the latter project, the work of Future Systems, headed by Czech architect Jan Kaplický and David Nixon, was conceptualized at the height of the Cold War, when the future appeared gloomy. While Archigram conceived organic architectures to ensure survival in inhospitable environments, the technical looking designs by Future Systems are intended for use in more friendly climes. Although the majority of these utopian designs were never realized, their plans offer a fascinating look at how architects prepare for a world they can only imagine.

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Philipp Sturm is a curator at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), Frankfurt/Main.

Peter Cachola Schmal is Director of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), Frankfurt/Main.


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