Cuschicle + Suitaloon

Both the Cuschicle and the Suitaloon projects by Archigram represent another condition in which spatial constructs are broken, unhindered flowing space. Through the use of an ever-present ‘suit’ a domestic living environment is always near, creating a thermo barrier between the wearer and the exterior environment. The suit represents a return to humanities nomadic nature, where a transient cultures’ dwelling travels as they. As our living and working environments continue to breed an ever-more distributed network, where we are increasingly on-the-move living nomadic lifestyles for the pursuit of pleasure, increased opportunity and changing social/political conditions, how will the domestic dwelling evolve as we move further into the twenty-first century? In what ways will space be partitioned, or not, to meet the demands of, and in lieu of, these ever-changing distributed networks of social and political landscapes?

The cushicle is an invention that enables a man to carry a complete environment on his back. It inflates out when needed. It is a complete nomadic unit – and it is fully serviced.

It enables an explorer, wanderer or other itinerant to have a high standard of comfort with a minimum effort.

The illustrations show the two main parts of the Cushicle unit as they expand out from their unpacked state to the domestic condition. One constituent part is the “armature“ or “spinal“ system. This forms the chassis and support for the appliances and other apparatus. The other major element is the enclosure part which is basically an inflated envelope with extra skins as viewing screens. Both systems open out consecutively or can be used independently.

The Cushicle carries food, water supply, radio, miniature projection television and heating apparatus. The radio, TV, etc., are contained in the helmet and the food and water supply are carried in pod attachments.

With the establishment of service nodes and additional optional apparatus, the autonomous Cushicle unit could develop to become part of a more widespread urban system of personalized enclosures.

Archigram, Edited by Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron & Mike Webb, 1972 [reprinted New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999].

Clothing for living in – or if it wasn’t for my Suitaloon I would have to buy a house.

The space suit could be identified as a minimal house. In the previous Cushicle, the environment for the rider was provided by the Cushicle – a mechanism like a car. In this project the suit itself provides all the necessary services, the Cushicle being the source of (a) movement, (b) a larger envelope than the suit can provide, (c) power. Each suit has a plug serving a similar function to the key to your front door. You can plug into your friend and you will both be in one envelope, or you can plug into any envelope, stepping out of your suit which is left clipped on to the outside ready to step into when you leave. The plug also serves as a means of connecting envelopes together to form larger spaces.

The Cushicle shown is for one rider only. Various models of Cushicle envelope and suit would of course be available ranging from super sports to family models.

Michael Webb
Archigram, Edited by Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron & Mike Webb, 1972 [reprinted New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999].

-Source: Archigram Archival Project

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Categories: Architecture, Precedent, Research, Theory


studying: architecture design


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