October 23, 2020 - M+, West Kowloon Cultural District - Archigram Cities
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e-flux Architecture
October 23, 2020
October 23, 2020

M+, West Kowloon Cultural District

Drawing Architecture Studio, Walking, Floating, and Plugging, 2020. Commissioned by M+, Hong Kong. © Drawing Architecture Studio.

Archigram Cities
In collaboration with the University of Hong Kong and Power Station of Art in Shanghai

www.mplus.org.hk
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The Archigram archive entered the M+ Collections in 2019. It consists of approximately 20,000 items, including more than 3,000 drawings, prints, sketches, models, videos, ephemera, and other materials, representing some 200 projects from the 1960s and 1970s. The Archigram group—consisting of the architects Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron, and Michael Webb—produced forward-looking propositions that helped reframe how we think about architecture and cities, and their ideas have had a far-reaching impact and resonance around the world for decades. At M+ in 2020, the archive offers the possibility not only to form new readings of Archigram’s practice, but also to consider its relevance for the immediate present and for potential futures.

The Archigram Cities online and offline events are a means to embed the archive in its new home and introduce Archigram’s work to new audiences. In collaboration with the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong and Power Station of Art in Shanghai, M+ provides a forum for encounters between members of the Archigram group and architects, scholars, students, and the wider public from Hong Kong, mainland China, and elsewhere. The programme is part of M+ Matters, a series of discussions that informs the museum’s curatorial approach, as well as M+ International, a platform for partnership with institutions around the world that addresses shared interests and challenges. Register for the events here.

M+ Matters: Archigram Cities Online Symposium, on November 4, 6, and 10, reappraises Archigram through interpretations of the group’s work in relation to the histories and practice of architecture and urbanism across a wider set of geographies. Organised as a series of three sessions—with each session focusing on a distinct inquiry into Archigram’s work across the issues of inhabitations, figurations, and transmissions—the symposium includes presentations by eminent historians and architects Annette Fierro, Ariel Genadt, Evangelos Kotsioris, Lai Chee Kien, Li Han, Simon Sadler, Hadas Steiner, Tsukamoto Yoshiharu, Mark Wigley, Roger Wu, and Liam Young. Presentations are followed by a "Trash History/Theory" video response by Archigram members before each panel discussion.

M+ Matters: Archigram Cities – It’s Archigram!, on November 13, reintroduces Archigram’s practice through the online screening of Archigram 1967 (1967) and Archigram Opera (1972). Produced by the BBC, Archigram 1967 was the group’s first publicly broadcast film. Archigram Opera, produced by Dennis Crompton, is a multimedia projection of an audiovisual distillation of Archigram’s thinking, work, and references over more than ten years of activity. Both Archigram 1967 and Archigram Opera are presented online for the first time, Archigram Opera in a newly edited version. The screenings are followed by a discussion with Archigram members Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, and Michael Webb. They reflect on their engagement with film and mass media, as well as the affinities and dissonances they experienced in an international network of experimental architects in the 1960s and 1970s.

M+ International x Power Station of Art: Archigram Cities, held in Shanghai on November 21, focuses on the relevance of Archigram’s ideas for experimental architectural practices in China. This event introduces Archigram’s practice through live screenings of Archigram 1967 and the full version of Archigram Opera. The screenings are followed by a discussion with Archigram members and presentations by leading architects Li Han (Drawing Architecture Studio), Liu Jiakun (Jiakun Architects), Ma Yansong (MAD Architects), Yung Ho Chang (Atelier FCJZ), and Meng Yan (Urbanus), interspersed with conversations with Archigram members. The event takes places during Phase 02: An Ecosystem of Alliances, a session of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water.

M+ Matters: Archigram Cities is organised by Shirley Surya (Curator, Design and Architecture, M+), Aric Chen (Professor of Practice, College of Design & Innovation, Tongji University), and Eric Schuldenfrei (Head, Department of Architecture), Eunice Seng (Associate Professor), and Roberto Requejo (Lecturer) of the University of Hong Kong Department of Architecture, with Noel Cheung (Curatorial Assistant, Design and Architecture, M+).

M+ International x Power Station of Art: Archigram Cities is organised by Shirley Surya (Curator, Design and Architecture, M+), Aric Chen (Professor of Practice, College of Design & Innovation, Tongji University), and Zhang Lili (Head of Learning Department, Power Station of Art), with Jennifer Wong (Assistant Curator, Design and Architecture, M+) and Xia Chengyue (Learning Department Project Planner, Power Station of Art).

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