Imagine if you will the 1960s.
A revolution in the arts. The future looked bright.
We as a nation could do anything. Anything we wanted. Hippies would rule the world. We’d have sweets for breakfast and sweet for tea. It would be bonkers conkers. We’d fly around on jetpacks and everyone would dress like Peter Gabriel when he was in Genesis.
Dogs and cats would be able to talk.
There would be one tongue. We would all speak the language of love. The sky would always have rainbows. Everyone would be an artist. There would be music in the air. Your nan would look like Barbarella (but sexier).
Yes, we had all those things to look forward too.
So with all this in mind, Peter Cook (no, not that one), Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Green created Archigram.
Archigram! Yes! It’s a good name isn’t it? Archigram!
Avant-garde architects! Pop buildings! Groovy futurist boxes!
If someone walked up to you right now and said ‘I’ve got a great idea! Let’s build a whole city that walks around on legs!’. You’d laugh wouldn’t you? ‘HAHAHAHHAHAHA!’ That’s what you’d do. You might even say ‘Don’t be a daft twat, that’s a right stupid idea that. Get away from me. Don’t look at me, you looney’.
Cities could walk according to Ron Herron. Yes, they could! On massive retractable legs with balls on the end! It would look like a fat beetle and plug itself in wherever it wandered and suck up electricity though a massive straw. There would be pods that we would live in, which could be taken out and exchanged for pods from another walking city. If there was a nuclear war. Pah! We’d just move out of the way on our stumpy little legs, flicking Vs at the mushroom cloud.
How about if you lived in an area that was a bit boring - like say, Doncaster or Abingdon? Pretty dull right? Yeah. Well, fear not! Because Archigram could save you from your humdrum lives! It would bring an instant city right to you! No shit! I’m not making this up. They would fly the brand new super city (including instant performance spaces for your local rock and roll pop group to put on a gig) right over your grey crap one on balloons (I know, I know - the idea is so mindbogglingly stupid that it goes way beyond mad into: Hummmmm, that might. Just. Work.). On balloons!
Sadly Archigram’s plans never got past the planning stage and remained largely hypothetical. But just for a moment, a brief moment, lets imagine that they didn’t. That we are, in fact living in their strange idea of the future. That would be fun, wouldn’t it?