Radicals & Other Stories: New Trends in Architecture and Design from the late ‘50s to the ‘80s

The talk will present the ‘radical architecture’ movement in a historical perspective, social and architectural motives of its beginning, differences and similarities in the countries where it originated: UK, Austria, Italy, US. Besides showing examples of the work of the protagonists (Archigram, Hollein, Archizoom, Superstudio, etc. including Gianni Pettena himself), the lecture will focus on the influences this movement had on the following generations, giving new perspectives and direction to the fields of architecture and design.

Gianni Pettena is an Architect and Professor of History of Contemporary Art and Architecture at the University of Florence. Since the 70’s he has been a visiting professor, critic and lecturer in many USA and UK universities and architecture schools.

He is the Founder, together with Archizoom, Superstudio and UFO, of the Architettura Radicale movement, he has been involved since the end of the ‘60s in the study and practice of experimental architectural activity through exhibitions, lectures, articles and books. He writes for art, architecture and design magazines, his books include: L’anarchitetto (1973), Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown (1981), Richard Meier (1981), Superstudio (1982), Hans Hollein (1988), Olmsted. L’origine del parco urbano e del parco naturale contemporaneo (1996), Radicals. Design and Architecture 1960-1975 (1996), Casa Malaparte Capri (1999), Radical Design (2004).

As an architecture critic and historian he has organized exhibitions on the best known contemporary architects for public museums and city administrations. For the 1996 Architecture Biennale in Venice he was the curator of the exhibition ‘Radicals: Design and Architecture 1960-1975’. In that same year he presented for the first time in Europe in an exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence the work of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Besides private collections, his works are in the permanent collection of museums and institutions, such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Frac Center in Orléans as well as in the Venice Biennale Historical Archives.


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