Archigram (Architecture+Telegram) was an architectural group active between 1961 and 1974.
The six members of Archigram are Peter Cook, David Greene, Mike Webb, Ron Herron, Warren Chalk and Dennis Crompton. Cook, Greene and Webb met in 1961, collaborated on the first Archigram magazine, later inviting Herron, Chalk and Crompton to join them, and the magazine name stuck to them as a group.
Their first exhibition, following in the wake of the Independent Group's 1950s exhibitions, was Living City at the ICA in 1963. "The problem facing our cities is not just that of their regeneration, but of their right to an existence," wrote Cook in the introduction. However, one critic questioned the need for an exhibition promoting the vibrancy of the city, in the middle of swinging London. Nevertheless, the catalogue was published as the second of Theo Crosby’s Living Arts magazine and the logo won a COID award.
Archigram 4, the "Zoom" issue of 1964, was the key year in Archigram's fortunes. This issue took inspiration from sci-fi comic books and Roy Lichtenstein imagery in order to present architecture as a consumable, popular item rather than the stuffy high culture that modernism had become. Reyner Banham, who lived opposite Peter Cook, took six copies with him to the US, where, the story goes, Philip Johnson and Peter Blake saw it and the ‘zoom wave’ really took off, giving Archigram international notoriety.
Beyond exhibitions and magazines, Archigram produced a large amount of ideas and drawings depicting an optimistic, fantasy, fun future. (Source)
- Archigram, 10 issues, ed. Archigram, London, 1961-74.
- Archigram, eds. Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Mike Webb, 1972; repr. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.
- Hadas Anna Steiner, Bathrooms, Bubbles and Systems: Archigram and the Landscapes of Transience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001. Ph.D. dissertation.
- Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture without Architecture, MIT Press, 2005, 242 pp.