Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World
Pedro Ignacio Alonso, Hugo Palmarola (eds)
The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, 2020
Flying Panels looks at how a building technology became a powerful tool for the construction of a new society. After the Second World War, the development of prefabricated concrete panels drastically transformed the techniques used to build the modern world. Manual labour was replaced by automated mass production, and new concrete elements were used in billions of square metres of housing around the planet. Before turning into what many consider a dull face of our cities today, the stunning image of a concrete panel soaring through the sky appeared in all forms of popular culture: from paintings, photographs, drawings, and films, to posters, cartoons, children’s toys, and opera sets. Flying Panels brings together a group of architects, historians, philosophers, and curators to discuss the way in which concrete panel systems spread across the world, reflecting on their cultural influence, from the second half of the twentieth century to the present.
This publication accompanies the exhibition Flying Panels (18 October 2019 – 1 March 2020) curated by Pedro Ignacio Alonso and Hugo Palmarola, presented at ArkDes – The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. With essays by Michael Abrahamson, Jimena Castillo, Adrian Forty, Boris Groys, Maria Lind, Jennifer Mack, Philipp Meuser, Natalya Solopova, Erik Stenberg, and Christine Varga-Harris.