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Just What Is It That Makes Capsule Homes So Different, So Appealing? Domesticity and the Technological Sublime, 1945 to 1975

Just What Is It That Makes Capsule Homes So Different, So Appealing? Domesticity and the... Of the various technical, domestic, and urban developments in 1960s architecture, none seems as bizarre or ill-conceived as the fascination with capsules and gantries as models for domestic living. Inspired by the fetishistic hardware of NASA and associated military organizations, capsule houses and their service towers celebrated the technological nihilism of the existenzminimum rendered in profoundly late-modern terms. Latent in these radical proposals was the suggestion of a postmechanical sublime, a denial of humane space and experience in favor of systematizing biological and anthropomorphic requirements. This article focuses on capsule home proposals by the Japanese metabolists and contemporaries in Britain, France, and America, including proposals for domestic environments in aerospace situations and domestic capsule-gantry experiments by Kisho Kurokawa and Archigram. Kurokawa's essay “Capsule Declaration” serves as a convenient conceptual summary for an exploration of technical models from aerospace, cultural, and political influences on the capsule-gantry ideal and suggests the lingering influence of this odd yet compelling chapter in the architecture of the 1960s. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Space and Culture SAGE

Just What Is It That Makes Capsule Homes So Different, So Appealing? Domesticity and the Technological Sublime, 1945 to 1975

Space and Culture , Volume 9 (2): 15 – May 1, 2006

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
1206-3312
eISSN
1552-8308
DOI
10.1177/1206331205275009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Of the various technical, domestic, and urban developments in 1960s architecture, none seems as bizarre or ill-conceived as the fascination with capsules and gantries as models for domestic living. Inspired by the fetishistic hardware of NASA and associated military organizations, capsule houses and their service towers celebrated the technological nihilism of the existenzminimum rendered in profoundly late-modern terms. Latent in these radical proposals was the suggestion of a postmechanical sublime, a denial of humane space and experience in favor of systematizing biological and anthropomorphic requirements. This article focuses on capsule home proposals by the Japanese metabolists and contemporaries in Britain, France, and America, including proposals for domestic environments in aerospace situations and domestic capsule-gantry experiments by Kisho Kurokawa and Archigram. Kurokawa's essay “Capsule Declaration” serves as a convenient conceptual summary for an exploration of technical models from aerospace, cultural, and political influences on the capsule-gantry ideal and suggests the lingering influence of this odd yet compelling chapter in the architecture of the 1960s.

Journal

Space and CultureSAGE

Published: May 1, 2006

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