Remembering When Architecture Predicted the Future

by Lev Bratishenko
Maclean’s, Jan 30, 2016

Last Futures; Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture by Douglas Murphy. (no credit)

“Most of us now understand that architecture is the least suitable instrument with which to achieve social justice,” Museum of Modern Art curator Arthur Drexler said in 1975. That quote could be the antithesis of this book, which looks at the 1960s and 1970s as a period when governments were brave enough to experiment and architecture could claim to improve social and spatial organization.

A few traces of this hopeful time appear today, rather depressingly: tensile structures drape like high-tech skins over expensive corporate buildings while the enormous free spaces imagined by Buckminster Fuller and Konrad Wachsmann are best realized in highly reconfigurable supermarkets and airports. Instead of a three-day work week, space colonies, and green tech, we got Starbucks at gate C43. Read more…

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