Three brand new installations celebrate the legacy of legendary British architects Alison and Peter Smithson

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture invites three ‘duos’ of architects, artists and designers to respond to the legacy of Alison and Peter Smithson (A+PS), their relationship with the avant-garde and view of architecture as a ‘direct result of a way of life.’

Echoing the methods and collaborative processes of A+PS during their breakthrough phase as architects in 1950s Britain, the resulting commissions offer insight into their research and creative practice.

Assemble and Simon Terrill, Warren & Mosley, The Decorators and GOIG each take key developments in the Smithsons’ oeuvre as creative departure points including: calculations for collective planning (Scales of association 1954); temporary structures (Patio and Pavilion 1956); and historiographical approaches (Milan Triennale 1968).

Seen collectively, the exhibition highlights the Smithsons’ impact and lasting relevance as radical thinkers. Though concerned with how we lived then, their ideas continue to influence how we live now and undoubtedly will in the future. The exhibition’s title is taken from the ground-breaking exhibition Parallel of Life and Art, staged in 1953 at the ICA, London by the Smithsons, artist photographer Nigel Henderson and sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi.

Download overview of exhibition and guides to all three installations:

Exhibition Overview

The Ostrich and the Kipper, Assemble and Simon Terrill

A Nodding AcquaintanceSophie Warren & Jonathan Mosley

Transformations of the city, The Decorators and GOIG

OPENING TIMES: TUES-THU, 11AM-8PM, FRI & SAT 11AM-5PM (CLOSED SUNDAY & MONDAY)
Please note: We are closed from 5pm on Thursday 02 November

SPECIAL EVENT: ALISON AND PETER SMITHSON – IDEAS, IMPACT, ARCHITECTURE
Saturday 4 November, 10am-5pm Full details here
Closing symposium with speakers including Assemble, Simon Smithson, Peter Salter (Project Architect for A+PS), Prof M Christine Boyer (Not Quite Architecture: Writing Around Alison and Peter Smithson (MIT Press)), Simon Terrill, Warren & Mosley and many others

SPECIAL event: EVERYDAY MOVES – A STRUCTURED IMPROVISATION
Saturday 4 November 12.45-2pm
Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley with Charlotte Crewe

See dancers explore the inter-corporeal rhythms between their bodies, objects and architectural space in relation to ‘A Nodding Acquaintance’, the new installation by Warren & Mosley commissioned as part of Parallel (of life and) Architecture. Using a range of gestures, postures and behaviour associated with the street and its social choreographies the artists explore the spatial setting of the installation and the dynamics of the group.

Sophie Warren is an artist and has been collaborating with Jonathan Mosley since 2000, exhibiting and being published internationally. Jonathan is an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at Bristol UWE. Charlotte Crewe trained at Dartington College of Arts, majoring in choreography, and lectured at Cheltenham College of Art in Performance and Time-based Media.

ABOUT THIS EXHIBITION

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture and accompanying symposium is timed to appraise the full scope and influence of the Smithsons as counterpoint to the publicised fall of Robin Hood Gardens in London. Demolition since August 2017 deletes a key example of Brutalist architecture in the UK, realised by the architects in 1972 and incorporating their ‘streets in the air’ concept.

Commissioned by The Edge as part of a series of events marking the University of Bath’s 50th Anniversary as a higher education institution. Alison and Peter Smithson taught at Bath’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering during the 1970s and 80s. The duo also designed an array of buildings on campus between 1978 and 1990.

 

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