Nov 12th 2013

The Graham Foundation is pleased to welcome architect Carlo Caldini, one of the founding members of Italian avant-garde Gruppo 9999. Caldini will discuss the history and philosophy of Gruppo 9999, including its contributions to MoMA’s 1972 exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape.

Founded in 1967 by Giorgio Birelli, Carlo Caldini, Fabrizio Fiumi, and Paolo Galli while they were students of architecture at the University of Florence, Gruppo 9999 was conceived as a research and work group dedicated to architectural experimentation and sustainability. Its large-scale projects and environments brought to the forefront questions of ecology, global transformation, and man’s relationship to the environment. Notably, in 1972, Gruppo 9999 won MoMA’s “Competition for Young Designers” with its project the Vegetable Garden House. Included in MoMA’s ground-breaking exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, the Vegetable Garden House developed out of Gruppo 9999’s earlier experiments conducted in Space Electronic, an avant-garde discothèque the group founded and designed in Florence in 1969.

Carlo Caldini (b. 1941, Florence, Italy) is a Florence-based architect whose work combines professional practice, teaching, and academic research. In 1964, together with architects Mario Preti and Walter Natali, he travelled extensively in India to study Chandigarh and other Indian cities. From July 1967 to February 1968, he and Preti visited the United States and Canada to study new university campuses. The program was sponsored by the Council on Leaders and Specialists, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State.

Image: 9999, Bedroom for the Vegetable Garden House, 1972. Courtesy of 9999 Archive. Environments and Counter Environments. “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,” MoMA, 1972. Every family will be able to live in the “Casa Orto” to cultivate their own vegetables and sleep in the bedroom conceived for the MoMA competition “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” to be produced industrially on large scale.

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