Feb. 18, 2014

proto_PROXY: Superstudio

PROXY, an experiment in flexible urbanism, inspired by the provocative visions of speculative architecture studios of the 1960s and ‘70s, seeks to answer a set of questions: How responsive to change can we expect a city to be? Are there strategies for re-imagining the urban condition that can be derived from the provocative visions of the architects who have come before us? How should we conceptualize and inhabit the space between the permanent, durable city and the (non-architectural) network of our connected devices?” 

proto_PROXY takes a look at envelope a+d’s influences and how they shape PROXY’s manifestation at the corner of Hayes and Octavia in San Francisco.

Often mentioned in the same breath as UK architecture group Archigram, Italian Superstudio similarly imagined a future where nomadist technology challenged the top-down planning favored by architecture schools and governments.

Superstudio published a series of articles in the magazine Casabella that projected a wired, interconnected construct where life, commerce and education happen in an open landscape condition. People are linked to the grid through the Supersurface: a ubiquitous interface that unites humankind across the surface of the Earth. By allowing people to directly connect to the grid anywhere it exists regardless of landscape (hello, Internet prophesy), the Supersurface eliminates the need for formal urban structures.

And, fear not if you were concerned this would be a sterile, ascetic existence: this is a future with a strong hedonistic edge: good wine, good food and communality that is enhanced by a more direct inhabitation of the world’s surface.