A neo-futurist public bench

Neo-futurism is a late 20th–early 21st century movement in the arts, design, and architecture. It could be seen as a departure from the attitude of post-modernism and represents an idealistic belief in a better future and "a need to periodize the modern rapport with the technological".[1]

This avant-garde movement[2] is a futuristic rethinking of the aesthetic and functionality of rapidly growing cities. The industrialization that began worldwide following the end of the Second World War gave wind to new streams of thought in life, art and architecture, leading to post-modernism, neo-modernism and then neo-futurism.[3]

In the Western countries, futurist architecture evolved into Art Deco, the Googie movement and high-tech architecture, and finally into Neo-Futurism.[4] Neo-futuristic urbanists, architects, designers and artists believe in cities releasing emotions, driven by eco-sustainability, ethical values and implementing new materials and new technologies to provide a better quality of life for city-dwellers.


Pioneered in the late 1960s and early 70s by thought leader Hal Foster;[5] American architects Buckminster Fuller[6][7][8][9][10] and John C. Portman, Jr.;[11][12][13] Finnish-American architect and industrial designer Eero Saarinen,[14][15][16][17][18][19] Archigram, a British avant-garde architectural group (Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene) based at the Architectural Association, London;[6] American avant-garde architectural group ArchiGO, centered around the Illinois Institute of Technology;[20][21] Danish architect Henning Larsen;[22] Czech architect Jan Kaplický;[23][24][25] Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag;[26] Italian light sculptor Marco Lodola;[27][28][29] American concept artist Syd Mead;[30] American theatre screenwriter Greg Allen[31] and Russian poets Andrei Voznesensky, Serge Segay and Rea Nikonova.[32]

Although it was never built, the Fun Palace (1961) interpreted by architect Cedric Price as a "giant neo-futurist machine"[33][34] influenced other architects, notably Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, whose Pompidou Centre extended many of Price's ideas.


Neo-futurism was relaunched in 2007 after the dissemination of "The Neo-Futuristic City Manifesto"[35][36][37][38] included in the candidature presented to the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE)[39] and written by innovation designer Vito Di Bari,[40][41][42] a former executive director at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),[43] to outline his vision for the city of Milan at the time of the Universal Expo 2015. Di Bari defined his neo-futuristic vision as the "cross-pollination of art, cutting edge technologies and ethical values combined to create a pervasively higher quality of life";[44] he referenced the Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development Theory[45] and reported that the name had been inspired by the United Nations report Our Common Future.[46]

Jean-Louis Cohen has defined neo-futurism[47][48] as "a corollary to technology, being the structures built today byproducts of new materials to create previously impossible forms." Etan J. Ilfeld wrote that in the contemporary neo-futurist aesthetics "the machine becomes an integral element of the creative process itself, and generates the emergence of artistic modes that would have been impossible prior to computer technology."[49] Reyner Banham's definition of "une architecture autre" is a call for an architecture that technologically overcomes all previous architectures but possessing an expressive form,[50] as Banham stated about neo-futuristic "Archigram’s Plug-in Computerized City, form does not have to follow function into oblivion."[51]


The relaunch of neo-futurism in the 21st century has been creatively inspired by the Iraqi-British Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid,[52][53][54][55][56][57] Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava[58] [59][60][61][62] and by Vito DiBari.[63][64][65][66][67]

Neo-Futurist architects, designers and artists are French architect Denis Laming;[68][69][70][71][72][73][74] American artists Josh Hadar, Erin Sparler,[75] Marlow Rodale,[76] Studio-X Lawrie Masson;[77] Panayiotis Terzis,[78] and Miguel Ovalle;[79] urban-noise artist Joseph Young;[80] French designer Patrick Jouin[81] British artist Olivia Peake;[82] Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato,[83][84] Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag,[26] Italian artist Luca Bestetti and Greek artist Charis Tsevis.[85][86][87][88][89][90] Neo-futurism has absorbed sоme оf the high-tech architecture’s themes аnd ideas, incorporating elements оf high-tech industry аnd technology іntо building design:[91] technology and context is the focus of some architects of this movement such as Buckminster Fuller, Norman Foster,[92][93] Kenzo Tange, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Frei Otto, and Santiago Calatrava.[59][60][94]


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Further reading

  • Cohen, Jean-Louis (2012). The Future of Architecture. Since 1889. London: Phaidon Press. ISBN 978-0714845982. 
  • Di Bari V. (2007). "100 years: From Manifesto of futurist architecture to the Neofuturistic city manifesto" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-18. 
  • Foster, Hal (1987). "Neo-Futurism: Architecture and Technology". AA Files. Architectural Association School of Architecture. 14: 25–27. JSTOR 29543561. 
  • Foster, Hal (1994). "What's Neo about the Neo-Avant-Garde?". October. MIT Press. 70: 5–32. JSTOR 779051. 
  • Rowena Easton, The NeoFuturist Manifesto, 2008
  • Klein, Caroline; Lieb, Stefanie (2013). Futuristic: Visions of Future Living. Cologne: DAAB Media. ISBN 978-3942597098. 
  • A History of Neo-Futurism, Erica Anne Milkovich, 2010 - Avant-garde (Aesthetics)
  • Gunther Berghaus, From Futurism to Neo-Futurism, in Avant-garde/Neo-avant-garde, 2005, published by Dietrich Scheunemann, Rodopi BV
  • Colin Rowe, Fred Koetter, After the Millennium, in Collage City, 1983, published by Architecture - The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
  • Etan Jonathan Ilfeld, Beyond Contemporary Art, 2012, Vivays Publishing, London
  • Anthony Vidler, Histories of the immediate present, 2008 MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ISBN 978-0-262-72051-9
  • Reyner Banham, “A Clip-on Architecture,” Architectural Design 35, no. 11
  • Reyner Banham: Historian of the Immediate Future (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002)
  • Ru Brown, FUTURISM IS DEAD LONG LIVE FUTURISM The legacy of techno-love in contemporary design, 2011, University of Washington - MDes Design Investigations
  • Gabriel Gyang Dung, Bridget Mlumun Akaakohol, J.C. Akor - The Concept Of Sustainable Development And The Challenges Of Economic Growth And Development In Nigeria - July 2014, Department of Economics, College of Education, Katsina-Ala.
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