Monument to Superstudio


Monument to Superstudio, proposes a monument to the work of radical avant-garde protagonists Superstudio. The monument, a grotto-like space for personal reflection, sits below Piazza degli Alberighi in the historic centre of Florence. This structure consists of a single room with a concrete undulating floor and ceiling, providing space for resting, walking and sitting. This central platform takes its form from a specific design methodology that utilises a process of digital scanning.

To create the design, a reproduction of one of Superstudio’s drawings was dragged across the surface of an image scanner while it was in the process of being scanned. The subsequent work “Dragged Drawing’ (Superstudio Grid) (2015) is a direct mapping of this action and the scanning process – a physical imprint of the drawing as it moves through time and space. Out of this new materialisation of the original Superstudio image, a series of forms were identified, tracing various contours, then spliced out.

The design is also informed by another distortion of this drawing where the Superstudio drawing was photocopied and recopied till it all but disappears, apart from a few marks and dots. These dots then inform the location on the main floor plate where hot air is piped to heat the space. These dots are also used to define a network of holes located in the concrete ceiling. These holes allow tiny of drops of water to collect and form Calthemites on the structures ceiling. Where the Calthemites would be formed out of the minerals in the concrete structure as the water passes through it.

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Matthew Butcher is an academic and designer. He is Associate Professor in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and editor and founder of the architectural newspaper P.E.A.R.: Paper for Emerging Architectural Research. His work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum, London; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; The Architecture Foundation, London and the Prague Quadrennial, Prague.

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