This illuminating and provocative survey of artistic, technological, and social experiments and innovations in architecture from the nineteenth-century Functional Tradition to the Osaka World's Fair of 1970-and beyond-deals not only with new types of residences, commercial buildings, and institutional structures but also with the interrelated effects of architecture on furnishings, computers, plug-ins, plastics, prefabrication, portability, happenings, Playboy pads, multilevel environments, waterborne and airborne living, and new forms of communications, transportation, entertainment, and recreation, and theirs, in turn, on architectural developments. Men whose ideas and influences are surveyed include expressionists and futurists, Buckminster Fuller, members of the Bauhaus, Hans Hollein and Walter Pichler, Kenzo Tange and the Metabolists, as well as engineers, inventors, stylists, town planners, shipbuilders, academicians, and philosophers.
Most of the experimentalists discussed have done some work in the area of conventional building; they have, at any rate, a heritage, firmly rooted in what Peter Cook describes as the basic discipline of the twentieth century-a heritage that can be broadly divided into expressionism, rationalism, modernism, and politicism.
After discussing modern experimental work in its historical context, Mr Cook evaluates the ethical context of experiment and delineates various current 'orthodoxies'-organic, methodic, opportunistic,
scientific, utopian, and tasteful-to which architects may find themselves subscribing. And since, within the highly developed international network, there are still highly identifiable national pockets of experiment, he describes in detail the most interesting of these-current developments in Austria, Japan, the United States, Italy, France, Germany, and England.