Cedric Price ∩ Hunter Thompson

Cedric Price (1934 – 2003)

This puzzling image portraying a visionary gaze of / on Manhattan was part of Cedric Price’s Generator project (1976-79) commissioned by arts patron Howard Gilman. Though never built, Generator was a prescient and speculative approach on the program, configuration and use of architecture.  Much like the Fun Palace (1961) – one of CP’s most influential projects that inspired Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris – Generator figured mobile architectural means for engaging people in unexpected interactions, in a playful and responsive environment.

Cedric Price was innovative, radical, and thought-provoking. His projects were governed by the belief that architecture must “enable people to think the unthinkable”. At the same time he wittily questioned the purpose of building and scientific determinism, ingeniously remarking:

Maybe you don’t need a new house.
Maybe you need to leave your wife

Technology is the answer, but what was the question?
Cedric Price

Constantly challenging and questioning the accepted mores and dogmas of architecture Cedric Price was (and remains) one of the few iconoclasts in the architectural panorama.

Hunter Stockton Thompson (1937 – 2005)

Seemingly, Hunter Thompson was (and remains) one of the iconoclasts of journalism. He used Gonzo as means to question objectivity and challenge the “polished”, edited product of mainstream media. He strove for a personal approach based on humor, criticism, satirical techniques, even drugs and alcohol.

While the things Hunter wrote about are basically true, he often blurred the boundaries between fiction and reality. Indeed, the well-known “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – Hunter’s autobiographical journey – depicts a city and a culture of decline experienced (and dematerialized) in a bizarre hallucinogenic trip oscillating from excitement to horror.

Many things can be written and said about Cedric Price, Hunter Thompson, and the stories reflected on these specs. Most importantly, both of them are missing.

I’m only radical because the architectural profession has
got lost.
Architects are such a dull lot and they’re so convinced
that they matter. - Cedric Price

The TV business is uglier than most things.
It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel
and shallow money trench through the heart of the
journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves
and pimps run free and good men die like dogs,
for no good reason. - Hunter Thompson

Read: Re:CP by Cedric Price / edited by Hans-Ulrich Obrist

See: GONZO: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson / a documentary by Alex Gibney


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