In 1971 on the occasion of the seventh Congress of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), the island of Ibiza, specifically Sant Miquel cove hosted the Instant City, an ephemeral city that rose, occupied and dismantled in a short time of one month.
Fernando Bendito and Carlos Ferrater , who at the point were students of architecture, became responsible for the organization of the congress and taking care of the accommodation of the hundreds of design students from around the world who would attend the congress;
Bendito and Ferrater got in touch with the architect José Miguel de Prada Poole,expert in pneumatic architecture, who elaborated a minimal language that would allow the construction coverage in a very short time and with minimal instrumentation.
In September, we are going to celebrate exactly 50 years and we wish to place special emphasis in the surprising validity of the emblematic project. Let us then understand why Instant City produced at that precise moment. Quoting Carlos Ferrater : ´We, as students of architecture, at that time were the political response. We consider that perhaps the level of rebellion or social proposal should be more based on creativity and in what we were studying. We realized that the world had transformed after May 68 in Paris, from Woodstock in '69, from the Island of Wight in the 70's, with all those movements in music and leisure to the mass culture. And in '71 we said: in Ibiza the happening will not be the music but it will be the design, construction, architecture. We saw the occasion of the congress and we said: will you let us do camping for students?
One would say that the Utopia became reality. Of course, it is clear that utopias are not achievable because if they were they would stop being utopias. However, more than anything, we think that Instant City was a community life experiment in which work was the means of communication. Namely, stapling and building and creating a city and some spaces to live for a while.
¨We arrived at a culture of leisure, of formal expression, and people communicated through staple. One million staples. And thousands and thousands of square meters of plastic which built that city. By all accounts, the city was recycled.¨- recalls Ferrater.
Just imagine how positive that experience was for the students and the young people that had everything so regulated that it was really difficult to have a professional outlook and to think that sometimes what may seem like a waste of time is not.
´Time always recovers. An experience like this today would be very difficult, because they would come right away the wise men, the engineers, the technical codes, the fire ... and that spirit could hardly be developed of the unknown, of the test. However, we are moving towards a society in which leisure will be increasingly important, and we must find ways to work leisurely to be able to live longer and longer, taking into account that life expectancy continues to increase. An experience like Instant, therefore, has that double aspect of youth as an experiment and of old age as development, of finding systems in which work associated with leisure is the way communication between people.´
Object Name: The Instant City
Maker and Year: Carlos Ferrater, Fernando Bendito, José Miguel de Prada Poole, 1971
Object Type: Temporary architectural installation