The Continuous Monument—Superstudio





“In the beginning we designed objects for production, designs to be turned into wood and steel, glass and brick or plastic – then we produced neutral and usable designs, then finally negative utopias, forewarning images of the horrors which architecture was laying in store for us with its scientific methods for the perpetuation of existing models.”


Figure 1


An architectural group (1966-1978)was founded in Florence by a group of radical young architects, SUPERSTUDIO was at the heart of the architecture and design fields until the late 1970s after it dismissed. Their realms for design were quite plentiful, they included photo-collages, films and exhibitions, then the 20th century design thinking was influenced by their unique design perspective.

Today, I also would like to introduce a point or a topic, which is mainly idea of this group. And this idea is actually a architectural model, which contains a amazing idea of urbanization. Also, it will bring us a new idea about community engagement as well.



Figure 2:The Continuous Monument Concept


Superstudio’s continuous monument and the Twelve Ideal Cities used negative point with critical intent. Superstudio is obviously involved in preaching,which through the use of illustrate and literal means of “popular” to analyze the architecture discipline. Between 1969 and 1970, they made a line on the possibilities of architecture as the instrument for attaching actions through the means of total urbanization. This work appears in the third catalog: THE CONTINUOUS MONUMENT.


Figure 3:Mountain View


There is a “modeate utopia” to imagine a  future in which is really closed and all architecture will be created with a single act. Superstudio was trying to understand the order on the earth. If people are using architecture to make the society in order, what will happen after we established some instruments and let them work?There are several signs for understanding the earth like The Great Wall of China, motorways, paralells and meridians.

For example, such as this conceptual project in New York City is quite classical. they put this super conceptual structure  to New York, which was planning to cover the Hudson and the point of peninsula joining Brooklyn and New Jersey. A bunch of skyscrapers were connected by this structure, which are built in the period without planning idea.



Figure 4:Concept[passing New York City]



The grid is fundamentally a symbol of urban fabric and social network. The grid of social aspect that expands into notions of the social, political, electrical power grid. The grid is set up as a kind of community engagement on which the metropolis plays its own development. The city grid becomes the game-board of urbanism.

It’s funny the way that tangents work, while perhaps speaking more to the meanings of the grid in general, I think these extrapolations enable a re-conception of Superstudio’s provocative work as well, where the Continuous Monument can begin to be understood through associations of the grid in its many permutations, fictional and otherwise.”



Figure 5:




1. (1978)

2. (2012)





3 thoughts on “The Continuous Monument—Superstudio

  1. I like their radical design for NewYork. It’s pretty cool, looking like the spectacle in science fiction movie. but still a little confused…
    In the first video Adolfo said all design should be aimed towards the meeting primary demands. What do you think is the significance of this kind of super structures existing in the city sky? who hold the demands of the continuous monument?
    We can’t really build them, right?

  2. Interesting article Beem! I have not heard about Superstudio before and I was surprised about their way of thinking as well as the graphics they produced for 1970´s. Especially the quote in the end of the first video leaves a reader with something to think about. To be honest, I had to read it several times to understand Adolfo´s point but I think there is a lot of truth to it. Social aspect of design and understanding sociology it self is very important in terms of urban design and urban planning. I think that during that era architects and designers were interested in sociology and trying to understand human kind more than current architects and designers are. They have picked up on important things related to sociology and philosophy as well. Bringing up the never understood concept of utopian city or rather non-utopian in order to understand it. What I have missed a little bit, is how they wanted to adress the utopian concept through the Continuous Monument(which I find absurd). Maybe it is more related to the 12 Ideal cities that you have mentioned and their merge together within this structure…would be nice to have little bit more information about these vision in the article to create a holistic image. But after all, as the Adolfo says “until all design activities are aimed towards the meeting primary needs, until then, design must disappear, we can live without architecture”.

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