Michael Najjar, Netropolis | Shanghai 2017, 2017, archival pigment print on aluminum Dibond, 70 7⁄8 × 118 1⁄8". From “The Legacy of Architectonic Futurism.”

“The Legacy of Architectonic Futurism”


Architecture exhibitions can feel like slapdash microcosms of urban sprawl, touting utopian optimism and making claims for innovative design’s miraculous capacity for transforming the ways in which we think about space and live our daily lives. Luckily, “The Legacy of Architectonic Futurism” was something else: a superb tribute to the visionary architect, educator, and artist Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012).

Woods had a politically and socially charged agenda, along with a somewhat pessimistic worldview. His architecture was based on crisis and conflict. “Architecture is war,” he once said. “War is architecture. I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms.” Woods’s practice was theoretical. He was a paper architect rather than a builder, realizing just a few actual projects during his lifetime, the most well known of which is the Light

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