Hans Hollein in his Mobile Office, 1969. Copyright: Atelier Hollein Vienna.
Concerning the brief but intensely focussed design interest in pneumatics and transient environments affecting avant-garde European scenes in the late 1960s, Vienna’s comes down to us today as arguably the most prolific, poetic, and hermeneutically opaque. This paper positions the work as demonstrating pop sensibilities concerned with prosthetic expansion of the architect’s space-making capacity, its origins steeped in Semper’s notion of clothing as the original architectonic device, and its cultural moment inflected by cold-war anxieties and liberated sexualities. The material nature of these transparent, bodily responsive devices were dually architectures for survival, and clean prophylactic environments for the sex act.
Walter Pichler, TV-Helmet (Portable Living Room), 1967. Courtesy Generali Foundation (c) Archiv Walter Pichler
Utopie, Dyodon House, 1967, configurations in non-urban environments.
Haus Rucker Co., Mind Expander, Vienna, 1967.
Hieronymus Bosch, detail, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Brussels, 1503-1504.
Zünd-Up. The Great Vienna Auto Expander, 1969. Unbuilt. Copyright Zünd-Up: Timo Huber, Bertram Mayer, W.M. Pühringer, Hermann Simböck
Zünd-Up. Hot Tar and Level!, 1969. Photocollage. Copyright Zünd-Up: Timo Huber, Bertram Mayer, W.M. Pühringer, Hermann Simböck
Haus Rucker Co., Yellow Heart, Vienna, 1968.
Coop Himmelb(l)au, Villa Rosa, Vienna, 1968. Coyright Coop Himmelb(l)au
Haus Rucker Co. Environment Transformer, 1968.
Günther Brus. Wiener Spaziergang, performance 1965. Courtesy Gallery Heike Curtze.
Coop Himmelb(l)au Basel Event, 1969. Image Copyright Katharina Vonow.