Archigram agitated to prevent modernism from becoming a sterile and safe orthodoxy by its adherents. Unlike ephemeralisation from Buckminster Fuller which assumes more must be done with less material (because material is finite), Archigram relies on a future of interminable resources.
The works of Archigram had a Futurist slant being influenced by Antonio Sant'Elia's works. Buckminster Fuller and Yona Friedman were also important sources of inspiration. The works of Archigram served as a source of inspiration for later works such as the High tech 'Pompidou centre' 1971 by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, early Norman Foster works, Gianfranco Franchini and Future Systems.
If we consider for a moment Christo's seminal work – the 'wrapped cliff' – we might see it in one of two ways: as a wrapped cliff or; preferably, as the point at which all other cliffs are unwrapped. An Archigram project attempts to achieve this same altered reading of the familiar (in the tradition of Buckminster Fuller's question, 'How much does your building weigh?'). It provides a new agenda where nomadism is the dominant social force; where time, exchange and metamorphosis replace stasis; where consumption, lifestyle and transience become the programme; and where the public realm is an electronic surface enclosing the globe —David Greene
Plug-in-City is a mega-structure with no buildings, just a massive framework into which dwellings in the form of cells or standardised components could be slotted. The machine had taken over and people were the raw material being processed, the difference being that people are meant to enjoy the experience.
The Walking City is constituted by intelligent buildings or robots that are in the form of giant, self contained living pods that could roam the cities. The form derived from a combination of insect and machine and was a literal interpretation of Corbusier's aphorism of a house as a machine for living in. The pods were independent, yet parasitic as they could 'plug in' to way stations to exchange occupants or replenish resources. The citizen is therefore a serviced nomad not totally dissimilar from today's executive cars. The context was perceived as a future ruined world in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
Instant City is a mobile technological event that drifts into underdeveloped, drab towns via air (balloons) with provisional structures (performance spaces) in tow. The effect is a deliberate overstimulation to produce mass culture, with an embrace of advertising aesthetics. The whole endeavor is intended to eventually move on leaving behind advanced technology hook-ups.
Tuned City, in which Archigram's infrastructural and spatial additions attach themselves to an existing town at a percentage that leaves evidence of the previous development, rather than subsuming the whole.