More Than 200 Projects are included in the Archigram Archival Project. The AAP uses the group’s mainly chronological numbering system and includes everything given an Archigram project number. This comprises projects done by members before they met, the Archigram magazines (grouped together at no. 100), the projects done by Archigram as a group between 1961 and 1974, and some later projects.
Archigram as Architects
Archigram Architects recently designed a permanent exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute for the Malaysian government which has set out to soft sell the country as a politically viable, economically stable and industrially progressive nation. At the opening of the exhibition, at the end of last year, the High Commissioner said the exhibition was intended to 'show a cross-section of life in Malaysia today....and its hopes and aspirations for the future' as an integrated multi-racial country. With the aid of the audio-visual techniques used in the exhibition, plus 'the blessing of the Almighty' (to quote the High Commissioner again), the soft sell is pretty successful - at least in its hardware; which stands out resoundingly from the conventionally tasteful exhibits which surround it.
The major feature of the exhibition, which is built on two levels, is the sensory (and sensual) simulator located at the level above the general display area. Inside, 'in 12 minutes you experience the 90º atmosphere of the Malay jungle and the cool winds after the monsoon'. The simulator accommodates up to 15 people at any one time and they are subjected to constantly changing visual images and sounds, and, more powerfully, temperature and humidity. the mechanics of the simulator are interesting - the four screen multi-projection slide system, which is literally done by mirrors, synchronised with three track sound, and the associated impacts of superimposition, dissolve, blink etc.
All of which is intriguing and exciting. The main displays on the lower level, on the other hand, which constitute the remainder of the exhibit, are made up of the classic collages of neat visuals which one has by now come to expect of Archigram. Needless to say, these have been more than competently handled, and very pretty they look too. The access stairs to the simulator have been enclosed in tubes to form appropriate display surfaces, as has one of the display cases, and straightforward tubular steel frames contain the balance. In short, the total effect is highly attractive.
In the end, of course, it is the simulator which really draws one's attention. Rightly or wrongly, this particular piece of hardware is much more intriguing than the content of the exhibition as a whole.