Future City: Experiment and Utopia in Architecture 19562006

This intriguing new exhibition takes place at the Barbican Art Gallery in London from June 15-September 17, 2006. From Archigram to Zaha Hadid, Future City traces the history and development of international experimental architecture since the 1950s. The exhibition features 70 visionary building projects and urban plans from around the world. These groundbreaking projects illustrate the energy and experimentation that characterize radical architecture, and raise questions about the nature of buildings, cities and society. Future City marks the first time such a comprehensive survey exhibition in the UK has been devoted to radical architectural design. Foreign Office Architects, one of the most influential and highly acclaimed young practices to emerge in London in recent years, are to design the exhibition.

Featuring 300 original models and drawings, films and photographs, the exhibition is an invitation to envisage radically new ways of living in the city. Each design has extended the boundaries of possibility, proposing dazzling new prospects, shapes and colours, influencing and inspiring generations of architects across the world.

Future City represents a who’s who of postwar architectural talent. Leading talent featured include: Constant, Archigram, Architecture Principe, Superstudio, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind. The exhibition takes in the complex geometries created by younger contemporary architects such as Decoi and Kol/Mac Studio, and British-based contemporary talent includes Future Systems, Foreign Office Architects, CJ Lim + Studio 8, and Ocean UK.

Future City looks at how the metropolis came to be a laboratory for architects. The exhibition includes visionary schemes for the city, but also intriguing, wild, futuristic, and masterful buildings that have shaped the urban environment today. These projects demonstrate how people can choose extraordinary living over the commonplace.

The exhibition ends with a section exploring the latest contemporary developments posing the question of what is radical in architecture today.

Future City is a collaboration between Fonds Rgional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC), Orlans, France and Barbican Art Gallery. The exhibition draws on the world-renowned collection held at FRAC, Orlans, with loans from contemporary practitioners and international collections of institutions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

East London-based Foreign Office Architects (FOA) was founded by Alejandro Zaera Polo (Spanish) and Farshid Moussavi (Iranian). Since 1995, FOA have asserted their place as one of the most original international architectural practices working in the UK today. FOA merge urban design, architecture and landscape architecture. For more information on FOA, please visit www.f-o-a.net, and for more information on Future City, please visit www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery.