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UFO was part of the Radical Architecture Italian avantgarde. Based in Florence since 1967, its members were Carlo Bachi, Lapo Binazzi, Patrizia Cammeo, Riccardo Foresi, Titti Maschietto and, until 1968, Sandro Gioli. It was the time of students protests and the School of architecture in Florence, where UFO's members were enrolled, was crossed by the demonstrations of students who advocated a substantial change in teaching. Some classes in the School were especially heated by professors who were active on the edge of the architecture discipline. Leonardo Ricci and Leonardo Savioli were among them.

UFO's opinion was not that different from the one of the other Radical groups, and it was marked by the contrast against the predominant logics in order to debunk myths rooted in diverse fields of social and political life. In architecture, dissent and rebellion against rationalist orthodoxy are nourished with utopian and anti-academic stances, and everything contributes to freeing a new imaginative and communicative consciousness. To take possession of expressive languages borrowed from other fields, some far away from architecture, has many consequences. Texts, happenings, performances, installations, photographic projects, video productions are the tools that UFO activated for its own protest.

In its production, UFO stressed some recurring topics, investigated with variable means and consequences. Among them, for instance, the work on the "Case ANAS": state buildings, disseminated along the Italian road network, for its maintenance. These buildings whose constructive aspects and typology are recurring, became for instance the object of a photo survey that was partially reinterpreted in "Giro d'Italia", one of the films made by UFO as a consequence of the live performance "Giro d'Italia. Lettura Futurista", held at the Space Electronic disco club in Florence, in 1971.

Urban installations of inflatable objects are another kind of UFO's provocative actions ("Urboeffimeri", 1968; "ANAS Restoration", 1969; "Restauro di un acquedotto Romano", 1970). UFO also made interior design projects for clubs (Bamba Issa, 1969-71); live performances ("Giro d'Italia", 1971); photographic projects ("Casa ANAS", 1969-73), happenings and social actions ("Rebus viventi all'Isolotto", 1969; "Eurodomus 4", 1972); events, exhibitions and stores (Forza John!, 1967; Sherwood, 1969); Objects (Dollaro lamp, 1969; Paramount e MGM lamps (1969-1973).

UFO group existed until the Venice Biennale of 1978, when a gigantic photo of Casa ANAS was brought on a boat. Since 1972 the activity of UFO has been curated by Lapo Binazzi who still manages the group's archive and works as architect-designer and artist. Among the latest events consecrated to UFO are the exhibition UFO STORY held at the Centro Pecci (September 2012 - February 2013) in Prato and the installation of the "Cupola del Brunelleschi", an inflated facsimile of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore church, ten meters high, hosted by Villa La Sfacciata in Florence.

Clips by UFO

Strips including clips by UFO

Giro d'Italia
30:50 min

Giro d'Italia

Published on Dec 16, 2015