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Architecture Misfit #4: Adolfo Natalini

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“…if design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities…until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…”

Adolfo Natalini, 1971




  • the influence of architecture on other forms of visual ………hmm………..entertainment
    aeon flux? comes to mind

  • Yes, most definitely not. I discovered the quote at while searching for the image – “The 2,000 Ton City”, which is one of my all-time favourite architectural images. The original’s at NY MoMA btw. (

    “Superstudio’s Twelve Ideal Cities project is a wry comment on twentieth-century modernist utopias, and it supposedly represents “the supreme achievement of twenty thousand years of civilization.” In the First City, or 2,000-Ton City, shown here, cubic cells stacked atop one another form a continuous building that stretches across a green, undulating landscape. Each cell is equipped with technology capable of accommodating all human desires and physiological needs. In this city, humans are in a state of equality and death no longer exists, but if an inhabitant tries to rebel against this ideal state, the ceiling of his or her cell will descend with a two-thousand-ton force, obliterating the dissenter and making way for a new perfect citizen.”

    MoMa’s commentary repeats some of Superstudio’s colourful and possibly, for all we know, prescient claims but it’s the actual design that disturbed me for decades, no doubt because there’s no place for design, architecture or urban design in this ideal future. I get it now.