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Superstudio
Superstudio
Clips 2

About

Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia founded Superstudio in 1966 in Florence. Roberto Magris teamed up with them immediately thereafter. The group was later joined also by Piero Frassinelli, Alessandro Magris and Alessandro Poli, who took part until 1972. Superstudio is among the leading groups of Italian radical architecture.

In December 1996 at the Jolly 2 gallery in Pistoia, near Florence, Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi and Adolfo Natalini organized the "Superarchitecture" exhibition. Immediately following the opening, Natalini left the group and founded Superstudio with Toraldo Di Francia. The iconic exhibition poster is a sort of manifesto itself as it offers a short but clear sentence about the architects' intentions: in an era ruled by superproduction, superconsumtion and superheros, the two groups proposed "Superarchitecture". The exhibition included design prototypes characterized by popular forms and showy colors, standing in a patent contrast with any "good" design principle. This approach, guided by a critical aptitude, desecrating sometime, is a steady feature in Superstudio's activity, starting from their direct involvement in students' protests in the late Sixties.

Magazine publications or competitions were the most relevant occasions to spread texts and images produced by Superstudio. The Continous Monument, for example, was conceived on the occasion of the "Architektur und Freiheit" ("Architecture and Freedom") competition launched by the Graz Biennale in 1969; later on, thanks to its major iconographic energy, it became one of topics of investigation preferred by Superstudio. The grid-like surface was, in fact, the origin of the Architecture Histograms (1970), it pops up again the "Misura" furniture pieces designed for Zanotta (1970-71), it was further developed in "Supersurface", the project presented at the "Italy: the New Domestic Landscape" exhibition at MoMa in 1972 with a short film that illustrates its origin and meanings.

Supersurface also became the first chapter in a series of 5 stories, so called "Atti Fondamentali" ("Fundamental Acts"), each dedicated to primary acts in human life (Life, Education, Ceremony, Love, Death). Published on the pages of Casabella magazine between 1972 and 1973, these 5 stories by Superstudio take the form of texts and photomontages; the first 3 stories also include storyboards for a film the group was hoping to produce. In addition to Life, which coincides with the previous "Supersurface", also "Ceremony" will become a film il 1973. Superstudio was unable to produce the films for Education, Love and Death back then, as they could not raise enough funding for them. In 2010, however, the films were finally made by using slides Superstudio made in the 1970s, on the occasion of exhibitions, lectures and conferences, and explaining them with voice over readings.

The interests and inclinations of each member of Superstudio provided interesting topics the group could reflect upon. Also their teaching experiences offered them an opportunity for testing their investigations and visual narratives which, in turn, strengthened their design activity.

Clips by Superstudio

Strips including clips by Superstudio