Parliament of Plants is part of the display “What is radical today?” opening the 6th of September 2019 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Royal Academy of Arts London Parliament of Plants Display Exhibition What is radical today House of Commons Karl Anton Hickel

This display brings together 40 visions on how architecture can respond to today’s rapidly changing world.

The 1960s and 1970s were tumultuous decades of political unsettlement and social upheaval. From the construction of the Berlin Wall and the French students’ riots of May 1968, to the Vietnam War and anti-nuclear protests, these years occupy a remarkable place in recent history. Radical ideas set out to unseat existing conventions and practices in various spheres of life, including architecture.

Over this period, a number of architecture practices and collectives emerged and challenged the visions established by modernist architects reclaiming, through their radical ideas, the transformative power of architecture to change lives, cities and thinking. Today it could be said we are living in a similarly turbulent period of global changes with environmental, political and social upheaval. This display in the Architecture Studio questions what today’s practitioners are responding to by inviting 40 global emerging and established architects, artists and thinkers to present their visions of what is most radical in architecture today.

From legendary names involved fifty years ago in the radical movement, through collectives such as Archizoom and Archigram, to new and emerging practitioners, this display presents bespoke contributions by Denise Scott Brown, Andrea Branzi, Anna Heringer, Gaetano Pesce, Lucy McRae, Peter Cook RA, Francis Kéré, Kate Macintosh, Sam Jacob, Teddy Cruz, Maria Smith, Aaron Betsky and Ian Ritchie RA, amongst others.

The Parliament of Plants, 2019 is based on the painting of The House of Commons, 1793-94, by Karl Anton Hickel