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.
Ideas Circus forms part of a series of investigations into mobile facilities which are in conjunction with fixed establishments requiring expanded services over a limited period in order to satisfy an extreme but temporary problem.
[Ideas Circus is] An educational facility which is able to carry specialised information between fixed centres. Communication and extension of ideas and knowledge is achieved by setting up seminars and teaching facilities at the Centres, which are then fed with accumulated knowledge held by the mechanism. Responses are fed back to origin and also carried forward onto a complete circuit.
To institute a standard package of five or six vehicles that contain all the equipment necessary to set up a seminar, conference, exhibition, teach-in or display. The package can be attached to an existing building, plugging-into such facilities as are there and using the shelter of existing rooms for Circus equipment. The Circus can also be completely autonomous: set up in a field, if necessary. The idea would be to circulate between major provincial centres, tapping local universities, bleeding-off from them personalities, documentation and such things as film of laboratory experiments: then carrying on to the next town. Weekend visits to smaller places could be made. Some vehicles could hive off for an afternoon teach-in at the local Women’s Institute. The Circus would be programmed with basic film and slide material. The feedback facility is most important: verbatim documentation of seminars, documents, films, etc would be printed-off and left behind. Static educational facilities need topping-up. Mobile educational facilities could so easily be a nine-day wonder. The Ideas Circus is offered as a tool for the interim phase: until we have a really working all-way information network.
In the four weeks, the Circus is first programmed from London with tapes, filmstrips, etc on the tour subject. These are prepared with help from the available institutions.
The centres visited are geographically fairly close so that little time is spent actually on the road. In the multi-vehicle version there can be a programmed echeloning of the constituent parts so as to make best use of time and resources. In this version a single unit (vehicle simplified programme) can be sent to small towns nearby for a one-night stand or appetiser demonstration. The instigation of a national information network such as that shown here between universities is important but not absolutely essential.
Archigram, Edited by Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron & Mike Webb, 1972 [reprinted New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999].