This @XRebellionUK tension structure blockading the billionaire press site is genius and is, I think, the contemporary face of High Tech architecture. I'd argued #XR are the last remaining authentic High Tech architects. Hear me out. 1/7
High Tech had its roots in the eco-techno pioneering of practitioners like Frei Otto, Cedric Price and Buckminster Fuller — saving Spaceship Earth by doing more with less while enjoying a rich cultural life was the name of the game. Architecture should be fun and light. 2/7
This "High Tech" spindly architecture infused with gregarious eco optimism is taken up in earnest by Foster, Piano, Rogers, Grimshaw and others whose work is charismatic, pre-fabricated, and doesn't weigh much. 3/7
Then something changes. High Tech is still structurally-expressive and architecturally outstanding but it beefs up, massive, heavy structures for global financial corporations like HSBC and Lloyds replace the delicate "more with less" experiments of yesteryear. 4/7
Today High Tech has morphed far from its eco roots into the default style of global capitalism – big superstructures, glassy facades, many produced by exactly the same offices whose work once brimmed with counter-cultural environmentalism. 5/7
Meanwhile, back in activism land, @ExtinctionR, @climatecamp and other environmentalist groups have a long history of using structures to campaign — structures which by necessity are charismatic, pre-fabricated, and don't weigh much — but now they've gone up a gear. 6/7
So here we are. @XRebellionUK's new tension structure, made to protect Spaceship Earth, uses all the tactics of early High Tech. It is light, fun, pre-fabricated, quick to assemble, structurally inventive & expressive. XR are the last remaining authentic High Tech architects. 7/7
You can follow @PhinHarper.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: