October 6, 2017 - The Edge, University of Bath - Parallel (of Life and) Architecture
e-flux Architecture
October 6, 2017
October 6, 2017

The Edge, University of Bath

View of Assemble and Simon Terrill, The Ostrich and the Kipper, 2017, The Edge, Bath, UK. Photo: Paul Blakemore.

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture
The Ideas and Impact of Alison and Peter Smithson
October 6–November 4, 2017

Symposium: Alison and Peter Smithson: Ideas, Impact, Architecture: November 4, 10:30am–5pm

The Edge, University of Bath
Bath BA2 7AY
United Kingdom


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Artists: Assemble and Simon Terrill, The Decorators and GOIG, Warren & Mosley

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture invites three "duos" of architects, artists and designers to respond to the legacy of Alison and Peter Smithson, their relationship with the avant-garde and view of architecture as a "direct result of a way of life." Echoing the methods and collaborative processes during their breakthrough phase as architects in 1950s Britain, the resulting commissions offer insight into their research and creative practice.

Assemble & Simon Terrill, Warren & Mosley, The Decorators & GOIG each take key developments in the Smithsons’ oeuvre as creative departure points including: calculations for collective planning (Scales of association 1954); temporary structures (Patio and Pavilion, Whitechapel Gallery 1956); and historiographical approaches (Transformations of the city, Milan Triennale 1968).

Seen collectively the exhibition highlights the Smithsons’ impact and lasting relevance as radical thinkers. Though concerned with how we lived then, their ideas continue to influence how we live now and undoubtedly will in the future. In August 2017, the demolition began of Robin Hood Gardens, a key example of Brutalist architecture in the UK and the last major building project realized by the architects. Completed in 1972, RHG incorporated another of their concepts, that of "streets in the sky." This exhibition and accompanying symposium, with title taken from the ground-breaking exhibition Parallel of Life and Art, staged in 1953 by the Smithsons, Nigel Henderson and Eduardo Paolozzi at the ICA, London, is timed to appraise the full scope and influence of "A+PS" as counterpoint to the publicised fall of RHG.

A special symposium featuring leading architects, artists and thinkers all with a connection to Alison and Peter Smithson closes the exhibition on Saturday 4 November featuring Assemble, Simon Smithson, Peter Salter (Project Architect for A+PS), M Christine Boyer (Professor of Urbanism, Princeton and author of Not Quite Architecture: Writing Around Alison and Peter Smithson (MIT Press)), Simon Terrill, Warren & Mosley and many others.

Director: Jamie Eastman

Press contact: alex [​at​] chloenelkinconsulting.com

Art, Research, Adventure
The Edge is an arts and creativity hub informed by the context of the University of Bath. Art/research collaborations are encouraged, providing artists, audiences, researchers and academics the opportunity for new perspectives. A year-round programme of exhibitions, performing arts presentations, talks, classes and community events are based on an ethos to draw together art, research and adventure. The state-of-the-art building offers galleries, theatres and studios, plus a lively café/bar—a destination that promotes the art in science and the science in art.

The Edge, University of Bath
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