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Archigram for all

Dr Sutherland Lyall

The AR’s pick from the world wide web

First there was Picturesque theory which quietly revolutionised European landscape and architecture, then the Arts and Crafts movement and then Archigram: England’s three only but extremely serious contributions to international architecture. The Picturesque is still not very well understood, Arts and Crafts has been the subject of a thousand postgraduate dissertations and now Archigram’s archives have been opened up for decades of future toiling academics. Plus people who just love looking at Archigram stuff.

The first complete exposure of the drawings was in 1994 at Vienna’s Kunsthalle. Given that a lot of the material has lived for years under Archigramiste, Dennis Crompton’s bed there was an astonishing amount of it, all seminal design including some full size mock-ups of such propositions as David Greene’s RockPlug and Log-Plug.

It exhibited more than 200 projects which the magic six had knocked out over the decade of the 60s while the architectural establishment looked on in horror. For the last 15 years Crompton has been touring various versions of this brilliant show. Now it’s almost all online [here], 10,000 items of it courtesy of the University of Westminster’s Dr Kester Rattenbury who heads up its research centre for experimental practice.

Website design is by Filip Visnjic and Pierpaolo Di Panfilo with Professor Stephen Winter from Westminster’s centre for parallel computing. It’s worth name-checking the creators of an architectural web archive such as you have never seen before. Go, enjoy and learn. It’s brilliant.

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