Side Note

Get a glimpse of futurism that critiqued the future

The ’60s and ’70s were a time in which we were optimistic about the future. We’d gone to space, gaining a new perspective on the universe and our place in it. It seemed like everyone who wrote science fiction was also extremely into acid, and they used their work to envision utopias in which humanity worked together to collectively solve problems. And besides, we were in the midst of the Cold War, political assassinations, and a seemingly never-ending conflict in Vietnam, so it wasn’t like things were going to get any worse than they were now, right?

”Wrong, bucko,” is what Florence, Italy’s radical architecture movement said at the time. Their work warned us that by adopting new technologies, we were ceding control to outside entities, forming unnatural relationships with objects, and blurring the lines between leisure and labor, and they were fucking pissed about it. If you’re going to be in Canada at any point from now until October, you should head over to the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, where works coming from this eerily prescient school of thought will be on display as part of an exhibit called Utopia Radicali. You can view a smattering of the work below; my favorite is the one where someone decided to draw up nonsensical plans for a pair of dams facing each other.

Architettura interplanetaria, 1970-1971.

Architettura interplanetaria, 1970-1971.