GREENE David, ARCHIGRAM Living Pod (1967)

“When David Greene designed the Living Pod in 1966, mankind had not yet walked on the moon, but the “pod” was already a broadly present theme in architectural research. The possibility of designing an object that could serve as both vehicle and habitat, capable of resisting harsh or unknown environments by simulating earth’s atmosphere in a confined space, provided the impetus for a great deal of experimental architecture in the 1960s. “The house is designed as an appliance to be transported around with the owner, the city becomes a machine people plug into,” wrote David Greene. The Living Podreduces the dwelling to a compartment equipped with minimum but sufficient comforts. Although it was only designed for earth-based uses, it nevertheless took on a space age style, with the principle of adaptable hydraulic cylinder feet enabling it to settle down on unexplored ground, and the circulation of fluids exposed on the exterior of the skin, which recalls the appearance of an astronaut’s suit or helmet. While comparable to a space capsule, the Living Pod lacked autonomy, and therefore represented a “dead end’ as much as a utopia for the architect. In the wake of Reyner Banham’s theorizing on the “a-house” (1965), Greene explored the idea of the probable abandoning of the house altogether in its static and permanent form in favor of alternative systems based on new technologies. Thus, the Living Pod represents a pivotal moment in the research of David Greene, for whom architecture would later be reduced to the supply of a range of modular and temporary services rather than an imposed and definitive object.”