‘Radical Disco’ Exhibition Opens At The ICA

An exploration of the relationship between avant-garde architecture and nightlife in Italy, 1965-75.

This period in Italy saw the opening of a number of discotheques, or ‘Pipers’, named after the first one which opened in Rome in 1965. Many of these were designed by Radical Design, an architecture movement dissatisfied with the limitations of post-war design.

Italy’s discos united exciting innovations in art, architecture, music, theatre and technology. However, the moment was short-lived, and many had closed or been transformed by the mid-1970s.

With nightclubs closing down across the UK at an alarming rate, and radical architecture collective Assemble winning the Turner Prize earlier this week, now is an excellent time to examine how the two worlds can come together. This talk on 16 Dec promises to be a particularly interesting take on the future of the nightclub.

Like this? Why not check out photos of France’s rural nightclubs or Italy’s abandoned discotheques.

Below, listen to an ICA playlist of tracks that would have been heard at Bamba Issa – a Mickey Mouse-inspired disco – in the early 1970s:


‘Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965-1975’ is @ the ICA until 10 Jan 2016.

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