Summer in London. About two exhibitions and 12 types of radicalism

Kolakowski, Marcin Mateusz (1999) Summer in London. About two exhibitions and 12 types of radicalism. Architektura & Biznes, 88 (9). pp. 24-25. ISSN 1230-1817

Summer in London. About two exhibitions and 12 types of radicalism [A&B1999/88]
1999-11-lato w londynie.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


In summer 1999, London just smelled radical. On 18 June, City roads were blocked by dozens of bicycles propagating the slogan “Reclaim the Street.” One of the most interesting architectural magazines, Blueprint, devoted its whole summer issue to radicalism.
But why do we need radical ideas if they are often brutal, utopian, naive, blind to subtleties, and in some cases downright stupid? Perhaps reasonable rationality indicates the limits of the world, while radicalism demands these limit lines to be crossed?
RIBA staged two exhibitions: ‘The Manifesto” presented radical texts (some celebrating their anniversaries, e.g. 30 years of Archigram). A question arises, however: why should anyone write an artistic credo, especially if it is as obvious as most of those presented during the exhibition? For artists and architects, manifestos are often mere advertising. It is here that insincerity and falseness may loom. Another reflection inspired by the exhibition is the chaos caused by putting all the manifestations of radicalism under one umbrella.
The other exhibition presented the ideas of the sixties, especially the works and ideas of the French UTOPIA group. In that period in France, architecture was associated with the elite and the bourgeoisie. This “heavy” atmosphere was challenged by UTOPIA’s idea of portable pneumatic architecture. The bubble of the pneumatic revolution soon burst; many factors made compatibility with traditional architecture quite difficult. Apart from that, the plastic balloons were not as comfortable as they looked in the pictures.
However, one needs to remember that the vitality of crazy ideas inspires architects, and by no means should soulless statisticians be allowed to poke fun at them.
It turns out that the inflated dreams of builders reappear in the designs presented by furniture manufacturers like IKEA and in modem construction. Sometimes, radicalism leaves more behind than just an anniversary, a happening, or an advertising slogan....

Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K200 Building
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K210 Building Technology
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:18026
Deposited On:29 Jul 2015 13:33

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