Internationally renowned architect Mike Webb, a founding member of Archigram and author of this year's Penn State Department of Architecture Corbelletti Competition brief, will deliver a talk Friday, September 9, at 1:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and will be followed directly by the Corbelletti competition awards announcement.
Webb was born 1937 in Henley-on-Thames (home of the Rowing Regatta), England. He studied architecture in London, taking seventeen years to graduate from a curriculum that is supposed to take only five. However, a project he designed in the fourth year of his studies found its way, via a curious set of circumstances, into a 1962 exhibition at MoMA New York titled Visionary Architecture. His thesis design, The ‘Sin Palace’, which repeatedly failed at his school of architecture (Regent Street Polytechnic, subsequently University of Westminster) was later widely published. In 1963, Webb joined the Archigram Group, a collection of six young architects rebelling against what they saw as an English architectural scene on life support. Through the pages of a magazine the group produced highly colored images of “a new architecture that would stand alongside the space capsules, the inflatable structures and the lifestyles of a new generation.” For eleven years, an exhibition of the group’s work toured the world. Originating in Vienna, it visited New York in 1998. In August of 2003 it was mounted in Seoul, Korea, and in London in March of 2004.
Webb came to the USA in 1965 and has since taught architecture at The Cooper Union, Columbia University, and a number of other schools. He has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Webb spent three months at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal as a 2011 Mellon Senior Fellow, and delivered the Mellon Lecture there in October 2011. He has lived just outside Millerton for four years and claims to have retired.