INSTANT

CITY

One of Archigram’s most notable projects was, Instant City, which proposes a temporary intervention in a city in England that is a “traveling metropolis” to create new spaces onto an existing urban fabric. Instant City “is the reaction to the physical nature of the metropolis: and somehow there is this paradox—if only we could enjoy it but stay where we are.”[1] Instead of a city being made of static or single location infrastructural networks, this project recognizes that infrastructure can be mobile and reconfigurable. Instant City creates a place of action in a rural city and they become engaged and integrated to the temporary metropolitan community. This is an example of architecture as a construct of time and event and not having to be construction because it has no formal existence. It also is the first example of network architecture in which it brings together different parts of the urban fabric and rewrites it by creating situations for people to socialize and interact with a familiar part of their city in a new way. Archigram’s insight on this project is that buildings should respond to the lives that go on in and around them, and that those lives change they should be able to change too. Instant City demonstrates that urbanity isn’t just defined by a collection of programs and functions, but is dependent on events, atmospheres, and spectacles which can occur at different times and locations.

 

SEQUENCE

CARNIVALESQUE

In architecture we all have been brought up with the idea that architecture must be timeless, almost eternal in sense that it will be there forever long after we are gone. Pop-up architecture can be seen at festivals and in parks and bring a social aspect back into architecture as it is only temporal. This lends itself to being able to emerge in a space and create a social and cultural impact. The Carnivalesque is a literary mode that is used to subverts and liberate the assumptions of a style of atmosphere through humor or chaos. “In carnival everyone is an active participant, everyone communes in the carnival act. Carnival is not contemplated and, strictly speaking, not even performed; its participants live in it, they live by its laws as long as those laws are in effect; that is, they live in a carnivalistic life.”[1] In the reading of the by Mikhail Bakhtin, this theory is primarily rooted in human psyche in a collective and individual level. There are four categories of the carnival world: free and familiar contact, carnivalistic mésalliances, profanation, and eccentric behavior. The Renaissance could be the high time of the carnival, and eventually got replaced by capitalism and modernization. As a result, the spirit of the carnivalesque got translated into literary means. The carnivalesque, as a theory, could be a to articulate the form of temporary play in the rational. Architecture as a carnival of an experience sets up an exchange between the environment and its users. Temporality allows us to think of space as ever changing through human action and we can start to learn from a world that is set up to be constantly changing and surprising by creating relations for ourselves, others, and the place that has been created. To remedy the modern city’s rational and mechanistic characteristic, the city requires complementary agents that are irrational and designed to upend the rules of the city.