A City without Architecture

University of Pennsylvania School of Design   l   Arch 704   l   Spring 2016

Critic: Homa Farjadi with Garrett Ricciardi

In collaboration with Seung-Hyeok Bae

Studio project published in Pressing Matters 5


The premise of this studio is based around a comparison and contrast between manifestos by designers of prominent past. During the late 1960s and early ‘70s, two radical methods of thought transpired from opposite sides of the world. On one hand, there is Andrea Branzi and the Archizoom Associati, while in the other, is Kiyonori Kikutake and the Metabolist movement. Although both ideologies developed simultaneously from one another, each side responded to very different contextual needs and desires. For Branzi, it is the pursuit of emancipation through the disestablishment of the hierarchic past, while Kikutake wants “an ecological balance [between] the built environment and people’s activities.” Unknown to one another, their cause against the pressures of the status quo led to utopias with uncanny similarities...         

In Branzi’s “No-Stop City”, architecture is described as a medium “where technology & nature [are] not harmonized but merged together.” It is “a high-tech Amazonia within which all functional zonings accumulated and dissolved.” Concurrently, Kikutake’s Ocean City is “[a] dynamic reality [of] what is needed is not a fixed, static function, but rather one which is capable of undergoing metabolic change.” Individual, programmatic identity is rejected for multifaceted pluralities that create qualities of limitlessness through uniformity. The goal is not to seek an singular object, but instead an infrastructural logic that is flexible, accommodating, and has the potential for growth. Mass repetition of spatial conditions will unshackle the users from the tyranny of “a positivist linear notion of modern progress.”