This book investigates the architectural, product design, and urban typology of the capsule which, beginning in the 1960s, broadened the concept of the basic building blocks of architecture to include a minimal living unit, called the "capsule." Here it is presented with regard to the continuity of the development of the Modern Movement, its revisionist criticism, pioneering examples, as well as contemporary examples and uses. The typology of the capsule allows us to consider this theme in terms of the architecture of resistance, with the potential to search for an "other" architecture that is embedded in our contemporaneity (manifested in small dwellings, composite structures, and container units; shelters and mobile homes in nature and the urban environment; technology transfer in high-tech designs; devices, additions, and extensions etc.). The concept of the capsule as a building element of architecture, as well as a spatial element, can therefore be regarded as having a generative potential for an architecture of personal space for the individual, forcing us to reflect on our existing living and dwelling conditions.
Table of Contents
1. Frame(work). 2. Development: Pioneers and Contemporaries. Subsistence Minimum (Existenzminimum). CIAM and the New Generation. From Buckminster Fuller to Counterculture 1960. British Techno-Utopia and Experiments for the Immediate Future. Japanese Metabolism and the Philosophy of Change. 3. Catalog: Typology and Its Manifestation. Autonomous Cells. Connective Cells. 4. Medium: Typology and Image. Envelope: Protection and Representation (Exterior). Envelope: Comfort Equipment and Feedback Simulation (Interior). Prefabricated Integrity (Structure, Function, Representation). Temporariness (Time and Space). Mobility (Movement). 5. Coda: In Pursuit of Other Architecture. Select Bibliography. Index.
Peter Šenk is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Spatial Planning at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Architecture at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. He is a researcher and writer in the field of architecture, urban planning, and visual culture, an architect (co-founder of Studio Stratum), and a curator (at the House of Architecture, Maribor).
"Rereading the history of 20th century architecture through the lens of the capsule, Peter Šenk reassesses a line of technotopianism in modernism. His ‘genealogy of the capsule‘, from functionalism over Buckminster Fuller, team X, metabolism, Archigram and the hippie scene, is a refreshing rediscovery of architectural dreams in the Space and Machine Age." - Lieven De Cauter, Author of a.o. The Capsular Civilization.
"A capsule in architecture. This "monad" of human inhabitation, driven by industrialization and rapid growth of population, was one of the most typical phenomenon of the last century. Now, the architects’ enthusiasm seems to be lulled. However, our planet is still growing. The issue is more related to philosophy than to design fashion. Peter Šenk's well-informed and well-thought-out book will provide the guideline for the next stage of monadist world still in the population explosion." - Hajime Yatsuka, Architect and Critic, Organizer of the "METABOLISM THE CITY OF THE FUTURE" Exhibition (2011 Tokyo, 2013 Taipei).