Bau no.1,
Vienna
Bau’s trademark three-cube logo appears on the cover of its first issue of 1969 as a set of rings worn on a hand with sharpened red fingernails. The striking cover gives little indication that the issue contains the landmark publication of a little known modernist house at Kundmangasse 19 in Vienna. Documents reproduced in the magazine, along with Werner Hoffman’s article “Philosoph als Architekt,” helped to establish Ludwig Wittgenstein’s role as the architect of this house. At the time only exterior photographs of the house were permitted for publication, giving little indication of the remarkable features within. In the following years, Kundmangasse 19 – which would come to be known as the Wittgenstein house – came to greater public attention through subsequent magazine articles published in an effort to save the house from demolition.

— Craig Buckley

From left, Architeectural Design, February, London, 1967, Domus No. 457 , December, Milan, 1967, and Architecture Principe No. 7, October, Paris, 1966.

The Radical Little Magazines of Architecture – 1960s-1970s

le carré blue No. 3, September 1968, Paris. “The protest movement has made us understand that we have to position ourselves more openly than we have in the past. A permanent architectural critique has to find in our magazine an open tribune regarding the fundamental relations between the arts and sciences of the environment and political, social, economic problems…” This brief statement on the cover of Le Carré Bleu’s third issue of 1968 captures the editors’ reaction to the student and worker’s protests earlier in the year. Established in 1958 and based in Paris and Helsinki, Le Carré Bleu was run by an extended editorial collective closely connected to Team 10’s international network of architects. The magazine drew on this network for its content and for its distribution, regularly publishing projects and writings by Candilis-Josic-Woods, Van der Broek and Bakema, Giancarlo de Carlo, and Alison and Peter Smithson, among others. A twenty-one centimeter square, Le Carré Bleu opened into an extended accordion-fold, a double-sided pamphlet often devoted to the concise examination of a single project. Notably, this issue devotes itself not to a particular project but to the now iconic graphics produced during the “events of May” by the “atéliers populaires”—studios made up of students who had been enrolled at the Écoles Nationales des Beaux-Arts et Arts Décoratifs, whose closure and restructuring was a goal of the protest movements of the May uprising.

— Craig Buckley

From No. 10, 1968, Cambridge. Alexander Rodchenko’s “Project for Cinecar” graces the square cover of Form’s final issue. Issue 10 contained translations of several articles that appeared in the 1920s Soviet avant-garde magazine LEF. Form was an early contributor to the recovery of the Constructivist avant-gardes from the historical obscurity into which they had fallen; an interest shared by several other little magazines, spawning a new wave of exhibitions and publications in the 1970s. Appearing in Form’s section on “Great Little Magazines,” these texts formed part of a major translation project, as Form introduced Dutch, German, and Russian avant-garde texts to an English audience.

— Craig Buckley

Polygon no. 7, 1962, London. In his 1966 article Zoom Wave Hits Architecture Reyner Banham cited the magazine Polygon as the beginning of a movement of “underground architectural protest magazines.” Founded in 1956, Polygon was published by architectural students at London's Regent Street Polytechnic. It was in Polygon's third issue (1958) that pre-Archigram Poly-student Michael Webb first published his fourth year project for the Furniture Manufacturers Association (1958). Following its publication in Polygon, Webb's project was widely circulated. It appeared in the inaugural issue of the Architects' Journal student supplement (April 1959), was criticized by Nikolaus Pevsner for its neo-Expressionist tendencies in the Architectural Review(June 1961), and was included in the 1960 exhibition Visionary Architecture, curated by Arthur Drexler at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1961 Peter Cook and David Greene included Webb's project in the first issue of their new broadsheet, Archigram, which was partially inspired by Polygon. Editorship of Polygon changed over the years, and included John Outram, Wilfred Marden, Andrew Rabeneck, Peter Britton, Paul Power, and John Spence. Issue 7 begins with a vitriolic attack on contemporary attitudes in British architecture and its inefficient and socially unsympathetic uses of technology, but also opens up to a presentation of student projects, Ernesto Nathan Rogers's pensive reflection on the history and impact of Casabella (Architecture…the Substance of Things Hoped For), as well as an article by Serge Chermayeff (The Shape of Quality). Although issue 7 ends with editor Paul Power's cynical conclusion (“We, the young are eager to see what will be the issue of the heroic ‘modern' age. Or perhaps we have already turned out gaze elsewhere”), Banham fondly recalled that “one memorable issue” of Polygon was “adorned with genuine lipstick kisses by a real living bird.”

— Irene Sunwoo

Perspecta 13/14, 1971, New Haven, Connecticut. “The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice and said ‘talk child.’ Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she began: ‘do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive before!’ ‘Well now that we have seen each other,’ said the Unicorn, ‘if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?’” In lieu of an editorial statement, a fragment from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland stretches out as a single line across the first pages contained within the shimmering, iridescent plastic covers of Perspecta 13/14. Following 1969’s polemical Perspecta 12, number 13/14 (edited by Robert Coombs and designed by Erik Muller) takes up a more reflective and uncertain posture. In-depth analysis of forgotten architects of the early 20th-century dominates issue 13. Entitled Paradise Lost it includes Robert Coombs on Norman Bel Geddes, Robert Vickery on Johannes Duiker and Bernard Bijvoet, Joseph Rykwert on Eileen Grey, and Judith Applegate interviewing Paul Nelson. Another linear epigraph — taken this time from the Wizard of Oz — marks the threshold of issue 14. Utopia and Anti-Utopia looks to find the pulse of debates about the nature of architectural utopianism in North America and Europe. The historical dimension of the problem is drawn out by Jacques Ehrmann (surveying the work of Claude Nicolas Ledoux) and Anthony Vidler (analyzing industrialization and urban utopias in Charles Fourier and Emile Zola). Projects and manifestos by Superstudio, Bruce Goff, Paolo Soleri, Christo, and Emilio Ambasz are presented as contemporary interventions on the subject. Between the loss of paradise and the questioning of utopia lays an influential third axis that would develop from this issue: Peter Eisenman’s analysis of Giuseppe Terragni’s Casa Frigerio and Casa del Fascio in issue 13 and Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky’s “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal, Part II,” in issue 14, bracket both historical context and utopian projection in a search for architecture’s autonomous structural and formal basis.

— Craig Buckley

Top Row Left: Architectural Design, February 1967
Edited by Monica Pidgeon and Technical Editor Robin Middleton, the cover of Architectural Design’s February “2000+” issue features a wired, faceless astronaut against a red background. This bizarre but powerful image first appeared as an advertisement for Cuttler-Hammer Co., a manufacturer of electrical products (primarily industrial power distribution and control equipment) based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An abstract spaceman seemed just right to lend credibility to the corporation’s products, while at the same time it provided the ideal imagery for John McHale’s futurist discourse on the year 2000 and what he termed “planetary housekeeping,” published in this issue of AD. “2000+” was instrumental in many ways. First, it was McHale’s earliest fully designed and edited publication on world systems and the management of the global reservoir (to be republished first in Design Quarterly’s January 1968 issue “Towards the Future” and later in McHale’s 1969 book The Future of the Future). Second, it came at a time when AD was about to embrace a shift from built work to indeterminate experimental structures that would advance the rethinking of shelter and habitation. Extracted directly from NASA’s space program, the imagery of “2000+,” including space monkeys, geared astronauts, exoskeletal harness systems, sections of moon shelters, submarines, and spaceships, was enough to stir a sensation and mark AD’s experimental trajectory in a manner that largely defied definitive borders between science fiction and social reality. The spaceman icon, coming from NASA to the world of advertisement and eventually appropriated by an intellectual enterprise such as AD, becomes the supreme representation of this convergence.

— Lydia Kallipoliti

Top Row Center: Domus, Nol. 457
Domus’ cover of December 1967 features an inflatable seat designed by the young architect members of the group Utopie: Jean Aubert, Jean-Paul Jungmann and Antoine Stinco. In the same issue Pierre Restany reports on the 9th Biennale of Sao Paolo while Ettore Sottsass, Jr.’s extremely colloquial column “Whipped Cream Memoirs” is dedicated to his “Kyoto Room”. He narrates his experience of this Zen space and how it inadvertently taught him the spatial fluidity and the truth of a “Mushin” or “no-mind” existence.

— Olympia Kazi

Top Row Right: Architecture Principe No. 7
Bunker Archéologie
, a special issue of Architecture Principe, was the only issue of the magazine that used a photograph on its cover. The issue contains two brief statements by Paul Virilio along with a sequence of full-page images categorizing the remains of World War Two artillery bunkers and submarine bases located along the French coast that Virilio had photographed nearly a decade earlier. Virilio would go on to develop the material from this issue into an exhibition and a book in 1975. As the title suggests the issue presents these structures with an archaeological objectivity, linking their sites to the eighteenth-century defenses of Vauban, and beyond that, to the Roman tumuli of antiquity. The issue, however, ultimately sought to establish the significance of their connotations for contemporary architecture: “Their geometry is no longer affirmative, it is eroded, used up. The angles are no longer square, but depressed, to escape every grasp mass is no longer founded on the earth but is centered in itself, independent, capable of movement and articulation. This architecture floats on the surface of an earth that has lost its materiality.”

— Craig Buckley

 

Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920, rue Baile
Montréal
514-939-7026
Octagonal Gallery
Clip/Stamp/Fold 2:
The Radical Architecture
of Little Magazines, 196x to 197x

April 12-September 9, 2007

The exhibition is the first to assemble groundbreaking independent publications from the 1960s and ‘70s whose experimental ideas and innovative designs spurred this influential period in architecture. Curated by Beatriz Colomina and a group of PhD students at Princeton University School of Architecture, Clip/Stamp/Fold 2 expands upon an initial presentation of the exhibition in New York City with rarely exhibited original material from the CCA’s special collections of architectural periodicals and archives.

Clip/Stamp/Fold 2 begins in the Octagonal Gallery and infiltrates other spaces throughout the CCA. Highlights include original first editions of what later became major journals, such as Oppositions and October (New York), breakaway student publications Archigram (London) and Melp! (Paris), and a variety of scarce “underground architectural protest magazines” like Polygon (London) and Bau (Vienna) that reflect the era’s spirit of social activism. Tthese remarkable documents are of particular interest for their combination of avant-garde critical content with radical use of graphics and images, and they provide a unique view of a key period of architectural experimentation and innovation.

An explosion of architectural little magazines in the 1960s and 1970s instigated a radical transformation in architectural culture. The exhibiton takes stock of 70 magazines from this period published in over a dozen cities. Coined in the early 20th century to designate progressive literary journals, the term “little magazine” was remobilized during the 1960s to grapple with the contemporary proliferation of independent architectural periodicals that appeared in response to political, social, and artistic changes of the period. Clip/Stamp/Fold 2 investigates how a diverse group of international architectural magazines informed the development of postwar architectural culture and provided a platform for innovation and debate. In addition to short-lived radical magazines, Clip/Stamp/Fold 2 includes pamphlets, building instruction manuals, and professional magazines influenced by the graphics and intellectual concerns of their self-published contemporaries.

If the little magazines of the 1960s and 1970s were engines of an intensely creative period of architectural design, they also provided space for architectural theory to flourish and an arena for critical discussion of politics and new technologies in architecture. With their dissemination, these innovative, energetic documents established a global exchange among architectural students, architects, and theorists, as well as a means to situate themselves within the historical context of architectural publishing of progressive thought and design.

In keeping with the radical and parasitical nature of little magazines, the exhibition infiltrates various spaces of the CCA, including the Library, Shaughnessy House, Bookstore, and hallways. The focal point of the exhibition is the Octagonal Gallery, where an annotated timeline wraps around the gallery walls and charts the progression, upheavals, and transformations of the magazines. Displayed in clusters of freestanding plastic bubbles, original and facsimile magazines offer a survey of the variety of unique formats, introducing rare examples from the CCA’s holdings and private collections. Highlights range from landmark volumes of Perspecta (New Haven, CT) and Casabella (Milan) to short-run journals such as Megascope (Bristol) and even the single-issue Signs of the Times, or Rather More Symbols than Signs (London). Several volumes of Internationale Situationniste (Paris) are also on view; the CCA Library holds the complete facsimile edition of this serial, which was reprinted in 1997 and edited by Guy Debord. Also from the CCA Collection and never before presented is Peter Eisenman’s original maquette created for the first volume of Oppositions (1973). The displays are complemented by audio interviews with editors and designers of these publications such as Kenneth Frampton, Peter Cook, Lisa Ponti, Takefumi Aida, and Hans Hollein as well as several complete facsimile magazines for visitors to browse.

The exhibition is a collaborative research and design project by a team of PhD candidates at the School of Architecture at Princeton University led by Professor Beatriz Colomina and is the outcome of two years of seminars, interviews and visits with the editors, architects, and theorists who produced the magazines. The project team includes Craig Buckley, Anthony Fontenot, Urtzi Grau, Lisa Hsieh, Alicia Imperiale, Lydia Kallipoliti, Olympia Kazi, Daniel Lopez-Perez, and Irene Sunwoo. First presented at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City, Clip/Stamp/Fold 2 is expanded by original material from the CCA Library’s remarkable collection of periodicals and features newly acquired works from the CCA’s major Peter Eisenman and Cedric Price archives. The exhibition will continue to evolve through presentations at subsequent venues, including the Architectural Association in London. It will also form part of a project by the Berlin-based architectural magazine Archplus for Documenta 12 Magazines, a collective editorial project linking over 90 periodicals engaged in contemporary cultural discourse worldwide.

Clip/Stamp/Fold 2 is the second in a series of CCA projects developed in association with universities, and forms part of the CCA’s mandate as an international research centre to initiate partnerships with academic and cultural institutions worldwide. The exhibition Inside the Sponge: Students Take on MIT Simmons Hall, a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Laboratory, explored the student residence by architect Steven Holl from the perspective of its inhabitants.

An explosion of architectural little magazines in the 1960s and 1970s instigated a radical transformation in architectural culture with the architecture of the magazines acting as the site of innovation and debate. Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X – 197X takes stock of seventy little magazines from this period, which were published in over a dozen cities. Coined in the early twentieth century to designate progressive literary journals, the term “little magazine” was remobilized during the 1960s to grapple with the contemporary proliferation of independent architectural periodicals. The terms “little” and “magazine” are not taken at face value. In addition to short-lived radical magazines, Clip/Stamp/Fold includes pamphlets and building instruction manuals along with professional magazines that experienced “moments of littleness,” influenced by the graphics and intellectual concerns of their self-published contemporaries.

The exhibition's annotated timeline serves as a cross-section, tracking the progression, upheavals, and transformations of the magazines. A selection of original magazines surveys the variety of unique formats, re-introducing rare examples from private collections, and is supplemented by complete facsimiles for visitors to browse. Audio interviews with editors and designers of these publications punctuate the room, with transcriptions appearing in the Storefront's newsletter. In addition, many of these editors and designers have been invited to respond to the exhibition through the series Little Magazines / Small Talks held at the gallery. An implicit aim of the exhibition is to invite reflection on contemporary uses of media in architecture. Assembling all these remarkable documents for the first time offers a unique view of a key period of architectural innovation and challenges today's architects to provoke a similar intensity.

Bottom Row, Left: Archigram No. 3
In 1961, Peter Cook and David Greene, recent architecture school graduates, published a protest sheet in response to the conservatism of existing architectural journals, which at the time eschewed experimental work. For the editors, the magazine's title, Archigram, reflected “the notion of a more urgent and simple item than a journal, like a ‘telegram' or ‘aerogramme', hence ‘archi(tecture)-gram'.” Sharing similar interests, Michael Webb, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, and Dennis Crompton – who all worked at the Taylor Woodrow Construction Company in London with Cook and Greene – became involved in the publication. The magazine, which saw nine full issues, was committed to the propagation of avant-garde activity suppressed by educational institutions and neglected by the mainstream press. The magazine Archigram featured visionary designs by architects such as Cedric Price, Yona Friedman, Frei Otto, the Japanese Metabolists, and even the Archigrammers themselves, for what was initially a publishing endeavor transformed into an architectural collaboration which would take the same name as the protest sheet. The 1963 issue of Archigram was devoted to “expendability” – one of the prevailing concerns of experimental architects of the 1960s. Discussed in terms of a “throwaway aesthetic” for architecture, or “planned obsolescence,” as Cook articulated in the Archigram 3 editorial, expendability in architecture meant an appropriation of the logic of consumer culture, as visualized in a collage of images of detergent, domes, cereal and mobile homes, punctuated by the message “It's all the same.”

— Irene Sunwoo

Bottom Row Center: Archigram No. 4
Architecture plays a secondary role in the vivid, silk screened cover of Archigram 4 (hand-made by member Dennis Crompton), which is dominated by a comic super hero blasting the issue's “Zoom” theme into view. Inside, the group's agenda unfolds in the format of a comic strip, designed by Archigram member Warren Chalk. Appropriate to the comic, the present conditions of architecture are left behind as fantasy comes to the forefront as a pedagogical device. As a comic vixen tells us, the imaginary cities portrayed in comics “illuminate an area of opinion that seeks the breakdown of conventional attitudes, the disruption of the ‘straight-up-and-down' formal vacuum – necessary to create a more dynamic environment.” The space suits, underwater vehicles, and inflatables that swarmed the issue's pages conveyed this turn away from “conventional attitudes.” In terms of architectural projects, Archigram 4 identified the logical grounding of the visionary legacy in projects by Cedric Price, Hans Hollein, Bruno Taut, and introduced for the first time Peter Cook's Plug-in City. When opened to its silk-screened center pages, the magazine offers a pop-up sci-fi cityscape with the invitation “Pop up into a new world.” For the uninitiated, a “Zoom Bibliography” appeared at the end of the issue, providing a list of suggested comics, architectural magazines, including L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui (June/July 1962) and Architectural Design (November 1963), and citing the popular illustrated magazine Paris-Match as a source for the most up-to-date coverage of technological innovations.

— Irene Sunwoo

Bottom Row Right: Bau No. 1
The cover of Bau: Schrift für Architektur und Städtebau’s inaugural issue was offset printed, showing a montage of ancient monuments, a contemporary missile launch facility, and ambiguously scaled models, all pin-wheeling around the exclamation “Whaam!” – a detail taken from an eponymous 1963 painting by Roy Lichtenstein. A hybrid phenomenon, Bau took up the visual language of “underground architectural protest magazines” but was at the same time the official magazine of the Zentralvereinigung der Architekten Österreiches (The Central Union of Austrian Architects). Bau emerged from the protests that Hans Hollein and Günther Feuerstein directed towards the Zentralvereinigung’s existing publication Der Bau; as a result, they were given control of the magazine. The reinvention began by knocking off the masculine article der, the aggressive yet comic force of which seems well matched to the choice of Lichtenstein’s image. The inaugural editorial team — comprised of Sokratis Dimitriou, Günther Feuerstein, Hans Hollein, Gustav Peichl, and Walter Pichler (who was responsible for the graphic design) — produced the magazine on a volunteer basis. A generation that came of age in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the editors perceived an acute historical amnesia, and looked to recover progressive architectural work from the earlier part of the century: the work of Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, and Josef Hoffman was known only fragmentarily at the time. Articles devoted to these architects appeared in Bau alongside more extended pieces excavating forgotten architects of the pre-war avant-garde (Rudolf Schindler, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s role as an architect, Frederick Kiesler, and Konstantin Melnikov). Alongside this historical project Bau produced visual and verbal manifestos aimed at expanding the definition of contemporary architecture, most famously in Hollein’s “Alles ist Architektur” (January 1968).

— Craig Buckley

 

From left, Archigram 3, London, 1963, Archigram 4, London, 1964, and Bau No. 1, Vienna, 1964.

 

Street Farmer no.1, London
Both the name of a magazine and a group, Street Farmer evolved out of Peter Crump and Bruce Haggart’s fifth year student projects, which were supervised by Peter Cook at the Architectural Association in London. Within its A4 pages, printed in blue, green, or red ink, Street Farmer propagates the necessity for a confluent political and ecological engagement in architecture and urbanism. Taking the form of a comic strip featuring Crump and Haggart in dialogue, the editorial statement argues that “if the environment were altered suitably the state could not function as it does.” The environment in which Street Farmer is invested encompasses both the rural and the urban, yet this duality is rejected, for such distinctions would inhibit a sense of social unity. Through comic strips, collages, and elaborate drawings the magazine offers a mixture of capitalist critiques and projects by Street Farmers and outside contributors, including fellow AA students. Street Farmer’s recurring theme is the recuperation of nature via the destruction of cities – hence the title of the magazine and its cover, which depicts a tractor emerging victorious from a skyscraper enveloped by a tree, with portraits of Crump and Haggart looming above. A comic strip entitled “Transmogrification,” printed in blue ink, poetically narrates the consumption of the city by natural forces, as buildings transform into shrubbery, a crow eats a skyscraper, and man is conceived through sexual intercourse with the city. Projects by Street Farmer appeared in Architectural Association Quarterly, Architectural Design, and the Italian magazine In, but in 1972 the group published the second and last issue of its magazine.

— Irene Sunwoo