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.