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.
A combination of two passions of Greene: the first towards the idea of the sculpted shell: his enthusiasm for Freidrich Kiesler's ‘Endless House’ which informed Greene’s own ‘Mosque’ project [as featured in Archigram 1] and the idea of ‘burrowing’ explored by Greene in Archigram 2. The second towards the ironic as well as problem solving aspects of gadgetry. The pod is the natural fusion of them both. Yet it can also be regarded as the most sophisticated of the ‘capsules’ – there are a number of Greene suggestions for the stacking of the pods in a frame structure.
Concerning Archigram, edited by Dennis Crompton (London: Archigram Archives, 1998)
Paradigms: Trailer homes, ‘Prefabs’, etc. Development: The ‘house’ is regarded here as consisting of two major components: a living-pod and attached machines.
Part One, a Pod … Colour, bonded white. Twelve support nodes (six tension, six compression). Four apertures (25 per cent surface). one access aperture, all with vacuum fixing seals, inner bonded sandwich of insulation and /or finish. Multi-purpose inflating floor 45 per cent area.
Part Two: Machinery, four automatic self-levelling compression legs for maximum 5 feet of water or 40-degree slope. Two transparent sectionalised sliding aperture seals with motors. Transparent entry seal with ramp and hydraulics. Two wash capsules with electrostatic disposal, air entry, and total automatic body cleaning equipment. One only with total body water immersion possibility. Two rotating silos for disposable toilet and clothing objects, etc. Vertical body hoist. Climate machinery for temperate zone (with connections to inflating sleep mats and warm section of inflating floor). Non-static food dispenser with self-cook modifications. Non-static media, teach and work machine with instant transparent cocoon ring. Inflating screens to sleep mats.
Appraisal: Although this capsule can be hung within a plug-in urban structure or can sit in the open landscape it is still a ‘house’. Really one is left with a zoomland trailer home. Probably a dead end. A basic assumption that must be reassessed in terms of the possibility of increasing personal mobility and technological advance. Anything is probable. The outcome of rejecting permanence and security in a house brief and adding instead curiosity and search could result in a mobile world – like early nomad societies. In relation to the Michael Webb design, the Suit and Cushicle would be the tent and camel equivalent; the node cores an oasis equivalent: the node cluster communities conditioned by varying rates of change. It is likely that under the impact of the second machine age the need for a house (in the form of permanent static container) as part of man’s psychological make-up will disappear.
With apologies to the master, the house is an appliance for carrying with you, the city is a machine for plugging into.
David Greene Archigram, Edited by Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron & Mike Webb, 1972 [reprinted New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999].