Planned Obsolescence - Ore Streams - Archigram Magazine Issue n 3 - Expendability: towards a throwaway architecture , 1956
The third issue of Archigram showcases another important (and related) theme for the first time: ‘Expendability: towards a throwaway architecture’.
The issue features collages in which domes, Buckminster Fuller’s prefab bathroom and Dymaxion car, and various container houses are depicted alongside packaging material and disposable items as serious and successful attempts to design objects or buildings with a limited lifespan. The periodical criticises a large number of these prefab objects, such as caravans, bungalows and garden houses, for concealing their industrial origins behind a traditional facade. Archigram, by contrast, propagates a look that mimics that of popular disposable product.
Archigram's message was clear : expendable technology should be a joyous fact of contemporary life, and everything should be regarded as a consumer product: 'the home, the whole city, and the frozen pea pack are all the same'.
Several projects by Archigram developed these ideas. Warren Chalk's 'Capsule Home' of 1964 and David Greene's 'Living Pod' of 1965 were influenced by the imagery and ergonomic exactitude of the space capsule, and were to be mass produced like a consumer commodity.
The group's 'Plug-in City', also of 1964, was an enormous megastructure the size of a city. A ‘long-term’ (40-year) framework contained essential services into which were 'plugged' shorter-term units catering for a variety of needs and 'planned for obsolescence'
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