Founded in Florence in 1966, Superstudio challenged the modernist orthodoxy that architecture and technological advances could improve the world by creating alternative visions of the future in photo-montages, sketches, collages and films. The five members of Superstudio: Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, Gian Piero Frassinelli, Alessandro Magris, Roberto Magris and Adolfo Natalini-were equally pessimistic about politics and its ability to solve mounting social, cultural and environmental problems. This Fall 2003 New York exhibition catalogue, drawn from Superstudio's archive and curated in collaboration with members of the group, will revisit its work and trace its influence on subsequent generations of architects.
Superstudio: Life without Objects collects nearly 200 of the group's most important images, collages, storyboards and critical writings. White monuments crossing over entire landscapes and cities, vast grid groundplanes spreading over infinite beaches populated by wandering hippies: these are some of the more evocative images that consolidated their fame as vanguard architects. In 1972, MoMA invited them to participate in one of the largest exhibitions in its history, built around Italian design and architecture. With essays from Peter Lang and William Menking, the book is designed to provide the reader with the most detailed account of this avant-garde design group and their lively assault on modernism.
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William Menking is a professor of city and regional planning at Pratt Institute in New York City. He is on the board of directors of the Storefront for Art and Architecture and The Miami Art Project.
Peter Lang has edited the anthologies Mortal City (1995) and Suburban Discipline (1997). Lang is currently a visiting assistant professor in the department of architecture, Texas A&M University.
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