Current Work | The Notion of Motion, Michael Webb

Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

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Michael Webb studied architecture at London’s Regent Street Polytechnic School of Architecture (now the University of Westminster) between 1953 and 1972. In 1960, one of his projects found its way to the Visionary Architecture exhibition organized by New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

A year later, Peter Cook invited Webb to join Archigram. Rebelling against what it saw as the failure of the architectural establishment in Britain, the group aimed to create projects that reflected the technological and social changes that the country was undergoing. Although unbuilt, Archigram’s projects offered a new approach to urbanism and infrastructure: 1984’s Plug-In City, for instance, proposed an evolving, movable megastructure that incorporated housing, transportation, and other essential services.

In 1965, Webb moved to the United States. Since then, his work has been featured in a number of publications and exhibitions.

For Current Work, he will discuss three of his long-term projects.

  • Drive-in House, begun in 1967, explores the ubiquitous presence of automobiles in architecture, from 1960s drive-ins to today’s driverless cars as new ways of thinking about architecture.
  • Temple Island, first published by AA Press in 1987, is a study on the landscape of the 1947 Henley Regatta on the Thames. Throughout the years, Webb has created a series of paintings, drawings, models, collages, and diagrams in order to convey details of that day, including the intense heat and the regatta course.  
  • Two Journeyspublished in 2018 by Lars Müller Publishers, borrows its name from a solo show held at The Cooper Union in 2008. The book presents Webb’s body of work as a continuum, from his time at Archigram until today.

Webb has taught at numerous institutions, including Columbia University, The Cooper Union, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, and Virginia Tech.

This lecture is co-sponsored with The Architectural League of New York.

Tickets are free for Cooper Union students and faculty with valid ID, and League members.

View the full Fall 2018 Lectures and Events List.

Located in the 41 Cooper Gallery, located in 41 Cooper Square, on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.