In addition to the exhibition Andrea Branzi. Objects and territoria we present the smaller exhibition Radical Architecture. Italy 1965-1980. It is a work in progress of the students of architecture of the TU Delft.
The founding of Archizoom by Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello and Massimo Morozzi in 1966 coincided with a moment of social and cultural unrest across Western Europe. In Italy the desire for change had particular connotations, fuelled by a sense of cultural inertia against the background of a rapidly changing society. Architectural culture, along with similar developments in literary culture and in film, responded to the social and political stalemate by formulating a series of clearly defined intellectual positions.
In the mid 1960s the intellectually fertile context of the Florence architecture school provided the ground for intellectually acute Italian designers and critics assembled in Archizoom and Superstudio (both founded in 1966) and a series of other groups. It is against this highly charged context that one can read Archizoom’s and Andrea Branzi’s critique of consumerist visual strategies and his declaration of a ‘right to oppose a reality that is devoid of meaning’ and the need to ‘act, modify, form and destroy the surrounding environment’. Despite the very different approaches, motives and assumptions from which the different groups and individuals worked, the installations, pamphlets and projects were recognised as proposals for a ‘Radical Architecture’.
This small exhibition, the result of a work-in-progress and conceived by architecture students from the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft, examines different strands of architectural thought and forms of activism that emerged in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. We looked at the historical and political backgrounds of Radical Architecture and at the projects, manifestoes and happenings through which the ideas on architecture and society were communicated. There is, however, also another aspect to this diving into the history of architecture of the recent past; a sense that the questions posed by radical architects in Italy in the period – the overarching cultural critique and the critique of the modus operandi of the architectural profession – may have retained value against the contemporary background of sustained overconsumption and star-system banality.
Curatorial direction: Christoph Grafe (research/onderzoek), Katrien Vandermarliere (productie/ production)
Concept and production: Annemieke Blaha, Tomas Dirrix, Jeroen van der Drift, Sophie van Dorsten, Max Floréan, Pim Schachtschnabel, Meret Studer
Graphic and visual concept: Team Thursday (Simone Trum/ Loes van Esch), Rotterdam
Execution advice and support: Veerle Vermeyen, Guy Anthoni
Prints: Goedhart Repro, Antwerpen
Translations: Hilde Pauwels en Kim Maes (intro)
This exhibition is a collaboration of the Flemish Architecture Institute (VAi), the research group Interiors, Buildings and Cities at the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands and deSingel International Arts Campus.
Supported by: Goedhart Repro, Antwerpen
Afdeling Architectuur, Faculteit Bouwkunde, TU Delft