One hundred years have passed since Antonio Sant’Elia and Mario Chiattone pioneered futurism in architecture. Marinetti exerted his trademark influence over the two, putting words to the towering industrial structures they envisioned. Though they bear the mark of their age, in many ways the vision they present is more futuristic than even the sleekest digital architecture of today. Sant’Elia’s manifesto of futurist architecture appears below, along with some drawings by him and Chiattone.
Because of the Italian futurists’ notorious association with fascist politics from the early 1920s on, it is important to point out that Sant’Elia died in combat well before he could have joined such a movement. Like the other futurists, Sant’Elia was drawn to the sublime spectacle of mechanized warfare. His voluntary, indeed enthusiastic, enlistment in the Italian army eventually resulted in his death. Yet it would be premature to assume that he would have been sympathetic…
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