Kisa Kawakami, selection from Plus Minus Box, Box 2, 1985. Full credit below.

Lecture: Dennis Crompton

September 17, 2014
6p Reception, Kemper Art Museum; 6:30p Lecture, Steinberg Auditorium

Internationally renowned architect Dennis Crompton, one of the founding members of the architecture collective Archigram, will deliver a Public Lecture Series talk in conjunction with the exhibition Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association. Titled Evolutionary Publication, it will focus on the Architectural Association publications, many of which are on view in the exhibition, which Crompton worked on as a designer and production manager.

Established in London in 1961, Archigram operated as an experimental "think tank," producing a magazine, projects, models, exhibitions, and proposals that represented a shift in how architectural practice is considered. Working together until 1975, members prioritized processes and responsive structures for living over the notion of architecture as a static, form-based commodity. Influenced by popular culture and responding to the proliferation of technological advances at the time—as well as recognizing increasing social and political discontent—Archigram's production emphasized mobility and flexibility in ways that continue to have currency today. The group was awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2002.

An enthusiast of gadgets, machines, techniques, and systems, Crompton was conspicuously in charge of all the technical matters that formed part of Archigram's output and established the Archigram Archives in 1975. He also was responsible, with Ron Herron, for the assembly and design of Archigram: Experimental Architecture 196174, a major exhibition that opened in Vienna in 1994 and has since traveled to venues in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Crompton also was actively involved with the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where he taught for more than 30 years beginning in 1965. As the coordinator of the communications unit from 1974 to 1993, he was responsible for the development and production of publications and exhibitions under the chairmanship of Alvin Boyarsky. He lectures widely on architecture, urbanism, and design in the United States and Europe, and has taught at The Bartlett, Cooper Union, and Washington University, where he served as the Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor in 2008.

Image credit

Kisa Kawakami, selection from Plus Minus Box, Box 2, 1985. 1 layered screen print on acetate, 2 cut and folded paper grids, 4 embossed sheets, and 2 screen prints on coated paper in a screen-printed cloth box, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 1 1/4" (closed). Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design.