Superstudio was an architecture firm, founded in 1966 in Florence, Italy by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. Superstudio was a major part of the Radical architecture movement of the late 1960s. The founders had gone to school at the University of Florence with Archizoom founder Andrea Branzi and first showed their work in the Superarchitettura show in 1966.
In 1967, Natalini established three categories of future research: “architecture of the monument”; the “architecture of the image”; and “technomorphic architecture”. Soon, Superstudio would be known for its conceptual architecture works, most notably the 1969 Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization. Their anti-architectural proposals used grid systems as a way to mediate space.
Natalini wrote in 1971 “…if design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities…until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…”
Critics agree that the work of Superstudio was influential, or even entirely inspirational to, among others, architects like Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Bernard Tschumi. Evidence of this is notable when one considers that the use of strong symmetrical line-work and geometric form; mediums heavily utilized by all of these architects, were staples of Superstudio's work throughout most of its life. Furthermore, Superstudio's penchant for envisioning immense, entirely aspirational mega-structures is a trait visible in much of the early work of architects such as Hadid and Koolhaas.
Superstudio abandoned working as a collective in 1978, but its members continued to develop their ideas independently through their writings, via education, architectural practice and other design projects.
- "Superstudio Design Museum Touring Exhibition".
- Hinant, Cindy (2012). "Grids Next Door". Gnome. 1 Winter (1): 48. "Superstudio uses the grid to mediate and give equality to space. The Fundamental Acts is an anti-architectural pro posal. There are no identifying structures other than natural landmarks. It is a space for free movement, free love and free education. It is an “environment for love at first site,” where two people can be deeply in love for variable lengths of time. The grid is designed to meet all the needs of its inhabitants and create a social structure of complete freedom and equality."
- Ringen, Jonathan. "Superstudio Pioneers of Conceptual Architecture".
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