Superstudio: The Architects Who Dreamt of a Future With No Buildings

FLORENCE, Italy — One recent afternoon, the architect Gian Piero Frassinelli, 81, stopped on a walk through a piazza near his home, and pointed at a fresco high above on a building’s facade.

The illustration depicts an entourage of local luminaries, including Dante, the poet, and the painters Leonardo da Vinci and Giotto. Many would view the scene as a tribute to Florence’s historic golden age. For Frassinelli, however, it represents the city’s disrespect for its creative sons.

“Until after their deaths, this city’s artists are destined to be rejected,” he said.

As the last surviving core member of Superstudio, Frassinelli should know. That radical architecture collective galvanized the design world during a MoMA exhibition in 1972, and its futuristic vision zigzagged the globe. Although Superstudio built very few actual buildings, its witty photo collages and designs, presented in exhibitions and glossy magazine spreads, opened up new possibilities for what

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Algorithms are designing better buildings

<span class="caption">Sberbank Technopark in Russia by Zaha Hadid Architects.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/sberbank-moscow/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zaha Hadid Architects">Zaha Hadid Architects</a></span>
Sberbank Technopark in Russia by Zaha Hadid Architects. Zaha Hadid Architects

When giant blobs began appearing on city skylines around the world in the late 1980s and 1990s, it marked not an alien invasion but the impact of computers on the practice of building design.

Thanks to computer-aided design (CAD), architects were able to experiment with new organic forms, free from the restraints of slide rules and protractors. The result was famous curvy buildings such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Future Systems’ Selfridges Department Store in Birmingham.

Today, computers are poised to change buildings once again, this time with algorithms that can inform, refine and even create new designs agence immobilière lyon 6. Even weirder shapes are just the start: algorithms can now work out the best ways to lay out rooms, construct the buildings and even change them over time to meet users’ needs.

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