italian radicals + japanese metabolists stand side by side in exhibition of the avant-garde

italian radicals + japanese metabolists stand side by side in exhibition of the avant-garde


until the 26th of march 2017, the museo carlo bilotti in rome is exhibiting a collection of architectural works, concepts and conversations developed in parallel by the metabolists of japan and the radicals of italy — two fundamental phenomena of the architectural avant-garde. entitled ‘architettura invisibile / invisible architecture’ the landmark exhibition features essential works by authors who voices drove innovation and experimentation within the movements forward, including arata isozaki, archizoom (andrea branzi, gilberto corretti, paolo deganello, massimo morozzi, dario and lucia bartolini), kiyonori kikutake, kisho kurokawa, fumihiko maki, otaka masato, superstudio (adolfo natalini, cristiano toraldo di francia, roberto magris, alessandro magris, gian piero frassinelli and alessandro poli), kenzo tange, and UFO (lapo binazzi, carlo bachi, patrizia cammeo, riccardo foresi, titti maschietto, sandro gioli).

(above) ufo. paramount lamp, 1969/2016 (lapo binazzi)
(main) awazu kiyoshi. poster for kisho kurokawa, 1970 (kisho kurokawa architect and associates)



beginning in the 1960s and 70s, metabolism and radicalism developed simultaneously in japan and italy respectively. although worlds apart, the two movements grappled with the same core themes: control over the environment through design, reshaping the future through technology and the development for new ways of inhabiting the planet. futuristic, expansive and widely experimental, the contents of the exhibition are subjected to a broad survey on the various cultural, artistic, social and political conditions that gave rise to the two ideals. 

SUPERSTUDIO. monumento continuo, collage, with walter de maria, 1969
(grand palais / georges meguerditchian / centre pompidou)



for the first time, prominent works are displayed alongside more obscure but equally crucial concepts, providing visitors with a broader understanding of the myriad events and ideas that shaped and grew these concepts into what they are today. grouped into themes of environment, technology and inhabitation, older works are also exhibited alongside design experiences developed in recent times that reinterpret — some fifty years later — the core ideals of the metabolists and radicals.


housed in a separate inflatable structure, this contemporary side of the exhibit will feature pieces by 2A+P/A, AlphavilleArchitects, DAP studio, sou fujimoto, jun igarashi, IAn+, yamazaki kentaro, yuko nagayama, O + h architects, OFl architecture, orizzontale, studio wok and tipi studio.

orizzontale. concept panel, 2016



”invisible architecture’ is the architecture that already is around us today; an architecture foreseen by the avant-gardes, and that is ‘invisible’ since immersed into a metropolis of commodities, made out of products, information, offers, services, where absolute foundations don’t exist anymore but only a flow of energies stemming from innovation, within an unlimited and unconstrained market,’ says andrea branzi of archizoom, a contributor to the exhibition. ‘invisible architecture is the architecture in the age of globalization’. curated by rita elvira adamo, ‘architettura invisibile / invisible architecture’ aims to cast a fresh perspective on the past, present and future of the movements whose impact is still being felt today.


‘architettura invisibile / invisible architecture’ runs at the museo carlo bilotti, rome, until the 26 of march 2017. 




museo carlo bilotti invisible architecture
2A+P/A. concept panel, 2016

museo carlo bilotti invisible architecture
ARCHIZOOM. strutture in liquefazione, drawing, 1968 (CSAC dell’università di parma)

UFO. urboe imeri, photo, 1968 (lapo binazzi)

ARCHIZOOM. teatri, 3 prints, 1968 (collezione drawing matter)

ARCHIZOOM. gazebi – profumi d’oriente, print, 1967 (csac dell’università di parma)

yuko nagayama associates. urbanprem minami aoyam, tokyo, japan, 2007 – 2008 

museo carlo bilotti invisible architecture
yamazaki kentaro design workshop. unfinished house, kashiwa- shi, chiba, japan, 2014
see more of this project on designboom

museo carlo bilotti invisible architecture
masato otaka. matomachi apartments, hiroshima, master plan, 1969-78
(national archives of modern architecture)

museo carlo bilotti invisible architecture
fumihiko maki, masato otaka. toward group form, il tra ico di shinjuku terminal, collage, 1960
(maki and associates, national archives of modern architecture)

museo carlo bilotti invisible architecture 

O + H architects. weekend house in sengataki, karuizawa, giappone, 2012

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    504,283 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine