Ibiza: the 1971 ICSID congress

Shortly after the congress where an inflatable Instant City provided accommodation for young students from all around the world, Domus published a series of international reactions to the event in English, Spanish and French.

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This article was originally published in Domus 509 / April 1972

Ibiza. San Miguel Bay. ICSID Congress (14-16 October)
A meeting on the beach, between those of the "how", the professional designers, and those of the "why", the youngsters from Instant City . In the hotels, the professionals; under the pneumatic, semitransparent and silent domes, young people from many countries: Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, USA. Indifferent to the fantastic beauty and technical imperfections of the Instant City they — or a part of them — built, in a short period and for a short period of time, these young people believed in presence; were worth for their presence; moved emotions, confrontations, ideas for this presence.

Maria, young girl visiting Instant City "... From the "houses" of Instant City different young people appear: one is carrying a rabbit, another is playing the flute, bare feeted, a towel wrapped around the hips or wearing a fur-coat. Some have a red plastic ribbon on their forehead. It's the same material as that of Instant City. It continues from their "houses", from floors and walls of them, binding them together for this time — it is their red ribbon for this moment. Instant City arouses people's attention. I don't think that it disturbs the inhabitants of Instant City when people come to look at their town, but it is a pity that most people come to say that it has beautiful colours and it looks nice. One thing that shocks these young people in their town is that most people don't even try to think what is inside the idea. In Instant City people touch each other. They are friends. It has been an intention to create an environment, which would exist not as an encouragement to social relationships but as an answer to them..."
(Helsinki , 05 January 1972)
Top: Ibiza, San Miguel bay, ICSID congress, 1971. Photo by Tapio Wirkkala. Above: Ibiza, <em>Instant City</em>. Photo by Sami Wirkkala. From the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
Top: Ibiza, San Miguel bay, ICSID congress, 1971. Photo by Tapio Wirkkala. Above: Ibiza, Instant City . Photo by Sami Wirkkala. From the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
The Instant City manifesto "Le monde se prépare à une metamorphose des dieux ... Le dessin est la création de formes qui matérialisent le comportement. Le processus c'est la forme. Le processus change mais la forme se traduit en matériel immuable, l'esquelette renferme l'etre vivant, qui est le processus. Le problème essentiel du dessin pour l'avenir est l'invention de formes changeantes qui puissent matériallser un processus indéfinimment, en lui permettant des changements spontanés et imprévisibles. La ville qui est le processus vital le plus complexe manque d'une forme changéante. La ville instantanée est le problème de dessin le plus passionant qui pose notre génération. Ville de nomades qui apparait dans un lieu sacré et disparait avec les derniers départs. Ville aussi pour les sédentaires qui change de forme selon les "trips" de ses habitants ..."
(Comité Ad Hoc pour la Ville Instantanée ADI/FAD , Barcelona)
The ICSID congress in the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
The ICSID congress in the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
Carlos and Fernando, students of architecture, who had the idea of Instant City "Se trataba, en principio, de posibilitar una experiencia colectiva en la que el trabajo y la información fueran los unicos canales de expresión a través de los cuales materializar una ciudad efímera que patentizara las contradicciones en las que se mueve la panoramica actual del diseño industrial. En el mes de abril celebramos unas reuniones con ADIFAD y posteriormente con miembros del ICSID en Ibiza, comprometiéndonos a posibilitar un alojamiento a los estudiantes de diseno que quisieran asistir al congreso. Elaboramos un manifiesto, informativos y cartel, difundiéndolos en circulos relacionados con el diseño industrial en todo el mundo ...
Nos pusimos en contacto con José Prada, experto en arquitectura neumática, el cual elaboró un lenguaje minimo que permitiría a cualquier persona construirse una cobertura en un tiempo reducido, con un instrumental minimo. La energia neumática que mantendria en pie la ciudad, sería comun a todas las células. Disponíamos, pues, de un sistema constructivo muy tecnológico pero para cuya realización se requerian unos métodos totalmente artesanales (grapas cada centímetro, intersecciones entre cilindros y esferas ejecutadas con cuerdas para absorber las tensiones, puertas de lormas orgánicas) donde el ingenio daba allernativas a la carencia de medios.
Nos pusimos en contacto con las firmas comerciales que podían suministrarnos el PVC, ventiladores, grapas ... Y por fin, a finales del mes de agosto, un grupo muy reducido construimos en Sardanyola el primer prototipo hinchable y, a principios de septiembre, salia hacia Ibiza el primer grupo de trabajo formado por gente llegada de todo el mundo para realizar durante un mes la infraestructura necesaria y las zonas comunes ..."
(Hogares Modernos , November 1971)
Indifferent to the fantastic beauty and technical imperfections of the Instant City they — or a part of them — built, in a short period and for a short period of time, these young people believed in presence; were worth for their presence; moved emotions, confrontations, ideas for this presence
Ibiza, <em>Instant City</em>. Photo by Sami Wirkkala. From the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
Ibiza, Instant City . Photo by Sami Wirkkala. From the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
Toal, young architect taking part in Instant City "The Instant City cannot be judged as success or failure, since as a person-centred environment it was what one made of it. It is perhaps similarly absurd to attempt to write this objective account of it since it was designed for subjective experience. The City was the people one knew and the things one did with them or without them ...
The project was most interesting in its attempt to create a social structure which maximises choice and reduces social contact/interference to the level acceptable to the individual, and in the flexibility which allowed people to act contrary to more basic ideas of Instant City if they wished. The fact that it lasted four or five weeks, and was physically isolated from towns, meant that despite lack of services, it was in almost every respect self-sufficient. This lack of services and the smallness of the numbers (never more than 350 people) meant that as a guide to solving problems of physical servicing, it is of little use. It did however show the need for a structured information system (electric or not). And possibly, clearest of all, it showed that the social or design idea of Instant City need not suffer even if its physical forms are realised by staple-gun technology".
(Architectural Design , December 1971)
Ibiza, <em>Instant City</em>. Photo by Sami Wirkkala. From the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972
Ibiza, Instant City . Photo by Sami Wirkkala. From the pages of Domus 509 / April 1972

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