“…the futuristic vision, linked to a mythical conception of progress, has been in crisis for some time; outside of the West it has never been in apogee. However, speaking of recycling, of reassembling, of mere kaleidoscopic variations of the available materials, which would be always the same, beginning by man himself, ends by turning into, all things considered, a reactionary consolatory device for impeding the research for an active commitment toward the New. The idea of “archaeology” substitutes a dynamic principle to this type of passivity.
Archaeology, as a technique for building the completeness of a past based upon its incomplete persistences, is, all in all, the only technique which, due to its active character, allows today a possible ideal reconstruction of the future. The design of the future must be considered most of all as a problem of completeness: its known parts are the dis-organic contemporary ruins of future symmetries…”
The group originated in Florence in 1968, from the collaboration between Alberto Breschi, Roberto Pecchioli and Giuliano Fiorenzoli, who eventually moved to the United States.
The group addressed architecture as a “global event”, that is as a communication system and multimedia and multi-disciplinary expression, aimed at a continuous experimentation in terms of contents and expression of a critical-innovative type that placed it on the forefront of that avant-garde movement known as ARCHITETTURA RADICALE.
The activities of the group, after experiences of interventions and performances – include the mounting of a scenic space in Fiesole together with Luigi Nono in 1970, the environments at the “Space Electronic” in 1971, the exhibition in Fiesole in 1973 on the subject of “Design and archaeology”, and the presence, also in 1973, at the XV TRIENNALE in Milan. The group participated, together with other Radical groups, in the foundation of the GLOBAL TOOLS, a system of workshops for developing creative activities.
A permanent feature of the group is an operative orientation which included the application of educational activities (“Gestaltung von Kindertagestatten” – the material environment as educational element, I.D.Z Berlino, 1976; participation of Roberto Pecchioli in the constitution of the “Cooperativa dei Ragazzi” in Florence; educational activities of Alberto Breschi at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence).
In occasion of the participation in national and international architectural competitions, in the constant transfer at the level of the project or of the design methods of the experiences of the avant-garde, the studio-workshop ZZIGGURAT had become a place where the contributions of usual collaborators, both in education and professional terms, but also of other teachers and professionals, and, last but not least, of students and recent graduates, converged.
– we mention, among the most frequent collaborators, the architects: A.Bagnoli, P.Bellia, A.Bigi, G.Boccabella, G.Bigozzi, N.Cargiaghe, F.Ferrari, L.Gavini, F.M.Lorusso, T.Manco, G.R.Masud Ansari, and M.Tozzi.
With the participation at the Venice Biennale in 1978, “Utopia and crisis of the anti-nature, architectural intentions in Italy”, with a project of “Archaeology of the future”, the group disbanded and ceased all activities.