L.C. Dillenback Lecture
Born in Blackpool, England, Dennis Compton is a member of the architect-collaborative group Archigram, established in London in 1961. Working together until 1975, the group operated as an experimental ‘think-tank’, producing a magazine, projects, models, exhibitions and proposals that represented a shift in how architectural practice is considered, prioritizing processes and responsive structures for living over the notion of architecture as a static, form-based commodity. Influenced by popular culture and responding to the proliferation of technological advances at the time, as well as recognizing the increasing social and political discontent, Archigram’s production emphasized mobility and flexibility in ways that continue to have currency today.
Conspicuously in charge of all the technical matters that form part of Archigram’s output, Compton is the inventor of the “things that go bang in the night.” He is an enthusiast on gadgets, machines, techniques and systems. Compton is considered to be the most practical member of the group who has nevertheless been known to flip completely when confronted with the opportunity to make a bigger and better and more “bang-in-the-night” apparatus.
As a member of Archigram, Crompton has kept the group’s records from their earliest days and established the Archigram Archives in 1975 when they ceased to practice. He was responsible, with Ron Herron, for the assembly and design of the major exhibition “Archigram: Experimental Architecture 1961-74” which opened in Vienna in 1994. Whenever the opportunity arises, designs, exhibitions, and books continue to guide the Archigram Exhibition around Europe, Asia and North America.
Dennis Crompton had a strong involvement with the Architectural Association School since 1965 where, until 1996, he was responsible for communications and publishing. More recently he has taught the masters courses in Architecture and Urban Design at the Bartlett. He frequently lectures at Schools of Architecture, Urbanism and Design in the United States and Europe.