Super Studio超级工作室

Vantage Shanghai - - THE CULTURALIST / 文化圈 -

人们可以同时 用“荒 诞不羁”“天工之作”或是“一无是处”来形容从未完成过一件实体建筑作品的传奇团体—— “超级工作室”。然而,正是这个无法被标签化的团体,启发了包括扎哈和库哈斯在内的无数建筑大师。

People have used “uninhibited absurdity”, “superlative craftsmanship”, even “nothing good” to describe Superstudio, but the legendary group that has never completed a physical architectural work. However, it was this group that inspired countless master architects including Zaha and Koolhaas.

In the mid-1960s, when the Italian economy had just recovered from the World War II, the young hippies were still not willing to wake up from the dream of "Utopia”. At this point, Adolfo Natalini, studying at the University of Florence's Department of Architecture, came up with some ideas that seemed "non-mainstream" at that time. He did not want to be like any other architect and become the capitalist's building tool after graduation. At that point in school, he met Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, who was also questioning and thinking about the nature of architecture. They hit it off right away, bursting with creative ideas. Soon, more and more people agreed with their ideas and so Superstudio was born.

In 1966, Superstudio met six designers and architects who saw themselves as "Free Thinkers". In December, these eleven people had a whim that they would hold an exhibition called "Superarchitettura” in Jolly2 Gallery of the Italian town of Pistoia. They denied the Modernism which was popular back then and presented the concept of “the architecture of superproduction, of superconsumption, and super induction to consumption, of supermarkets, superman and super gas". Unexpectedly, it was such an exhibition that led to the "Radical Architecture Movement" that was promoting the Italian design revolution.


Over the years following the exhibition, Superstudio successively created their most representative design scheme and presented the diversity theory proposal and thinking evolution of the team members at the same time. In 1969, Superstudio created "Histograms of Architecture", an anti-utopia story "The Continuous Monument" and the summative works A Journey into the Realm of Reason. Through painting, collage, printing and photography, the "catalogue of non-continuous three-dimensional diagrams” that consists of lines and white grid, pieces together a brand-new conceptual world with a vast net structure across the globe and the outer space. Meanwhile, the attention is directed to the topic of architectural scale, and the architectural design is assumed to be “abstract designs of substantial forms”. The most famous work is one of The Continuous Monument series in which Manhattan, New York, is covered with a rectangular stone.

During this period, most works produced by Superstudio were focused on the utopian concept of negating modernity. While promoting the concept of dystopia, they used the reduction to absurdity with irony to prove the limitations and absurdity of the assumption “architecture can change the world”. In the process of unknowing proof and disproof, the research scope of Superstudio had completely gone beyond the scope of architecture, and it had created a complex and vague field of creation. This field didn't only challenge the concept of architecture but also touched the definition of art works. The Superstudio turned “architectures” into the philosophical argument about the ability of man to act rationally.

“If design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of the bourgeois models of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture.” In 1972, Adolfo Natalini put forward that 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

上世纪60年代中期,意大利经济刚刚从第二次世界大战中复苏,年轻的嬉皮士还沉浸在“乌托邦”的美梦中不愿醒来……此时,就读于佛罗伦萨大学建筑系的阿道夫·纳塔利产生了一些彼时显得十分“非主流”的想法——他不甘愿像其他建筑师一样,在毕业后沦为资本家的“盖房工具”。此时在学校里,他遇到了同样质疑与思考建筑本质的克里斯蒂亚诺· 托拉尔多·迪弗兰恰。两人一拍即合,创意迸发。很快,他们的想法得到另外三人的认同……于是,“超级工作室”诞生了。





activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then design must disappear.”

To prove their point, the team began to devote themselves to film production. Among them, the film Fundamental Acts again raised an objection about the existence of the architectures and also put forward that “Architecture never touches the great themes and the fundamental themes of our lives; architecture remains at the limit.” Since then, the team began to question the link between the life and design. However, while this work demonstrated their ambition to reshape architectural exploration from the anthropological and architectural perspective, it also made the team members produce their own creative ideas. Therefore, to some extent, Fundamental Acts can be regarded as the inducement of Superstudio to be officially disbanded in the early 1980s. In the three years after 1973, five team members went their separate ways.


As the most famous radical architecture group on the international stage in the 1970s and 1980s, Superstudio explored the relationship between architecture and human behavior in terms of life, education, ritual, love and death and other themes, trying to reshape architecture through anthropology and philosophy. Their influence covers many fields such as architecture, design, art and philosophy, which can be considered a myth in design history after World War II.

At the end of last year, the large retrospective exhibition "Superstudio 50” which was planned by Superstudio and curated by Gabriele Mastrigli, presented an autobiography-style review of the group for the public in the Power Station of Art. "For 'Superstudio', architecture is a way of thinking, not just a skill. It's more like philosophy. Therefore, this exhibition is a critical reflection on their contribution to the field of architecture and the category of architecture itself.” said the curator.

This exhibition presents the process from the establishment of the group in 1966 to the formal disbandment in the early 1980s. A total of more than two hundred pieces of device, painting, photomontage, design manuscript, print, publications, and videos are exhibited. The team also produced the works of the same name for this exhibition, based on The Continuous Monument from 1969. In addition, the exhibition hall also displays the Superstudio style furniture, put into production by major companies in succession since the 1970s. This tells us that the influence of Superstudio in the field of design continues to this day.


“如果‘设计’只是为了促进消费而存在,那么我们必须拒绝设计; 如果‘建筑’仅仅是资产阶级所有制和社会模式的编纂,那么我们必须拒绝建筑。”1972年,阿道夫·纳塔利尼提出,如果建筑和城市规划仅仅是不公正社会分化的形式化体现,那么人们应该学会对“城市规划”甚至城市的概念说“不”。“直到所有的设计都能够服务于人类的基本需求为止。在此之前,设计必须消失。”






本页起顺时针CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PAGE 《基本行为:教育》 The Fundamental Acts: Education《沙发》Sofa《测量》Measure

左页起顺时针 CLOCKWIE FROM LEFT PAGE《基本行为:生活(超表面)》Fundamental Acts: Life (Supersurface),《十二座理想之城 第五城:半球城市》The TWELVE Ideal Cities. Fifth City: City of the Hemisphere《超级工作室景观办公室》Superstudio Landscape Office

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