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The plug-in concept
Peter Šenk, 2013, review article

Abstract: The architecture concept of plug-in is based on the duality of the infrastructure system and units or elements connected to it. In the context of megastructures, the concept was most vividly characterised by works of Archigram and Japanese Metabolists in the 1960s and early 1970s. Blurring the boundary between the building and the city, the plug-in concept outgrew architectural boundaries and was slowly transformed into an urbanistic concept. The paper presents the cultural context relevant to contemporaneity, which influenced specific development of the technology-driven concept of plug-in in the British Archigram Group and Japanese Metabolists. Based on the aesthetics of change and incompleteness, which was characterised by similar architectural manifestations despite entirely different cultural backgrounds, the plug-in concept foreshadowed social transformation based on freedom, individualisation and mobility in an utopian manner and held a promise of urban development with adaptability to unpredictable needs and desires of residents, who would become its co-creators with an active approach. Although the revolutionary sixties are quite some time behind, the plug-in concept in its commodified form has become and remained operational and relevant at least on the metaphorical level; in the contemporary space it is evident primarily in urbanism and not as much in its original architectural form.
Keywords: plug-in, clip-on, Reyner Banham, Archigram, Metabolism
Published: 21.12.2015; Views: 623; Downloads: 45
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