Chanéac was a major figure of the experimental architecture of the 1960s and 1970s. From 1958 onward he advocated the “free and open placement of individual, adaptable and mobile pods,” exploring the visual richness of organic forms and working towards a habitat designed for the greatest number. He developed the concept of “Industrialised Poeticized Architecture” with his Multi-purpose pods (1958-60): made of plastic material (polyester reinforced with fibreglass), juxtaposed and superposed, with no stress-bearing structure, these pods placed the absolute mobility of architecture within humanity’s grasp. In 1963, he conducted his earliest studies on Crater cities (villes cratères), which were cities where the suburbs had disappeared and where green spaces would be limitless thanks to their artificially mountainous topography. Through the concept of Insurrectional Architecture and the association Habitat évolutif (adaptable Habitat), Chanéac always defended the need to restore to individuals the means of acting upon their environment and adapting their habitat to their needs.
Trained as a painter, Chanéac (Jean-Louis Rey, 1931-1993) joined the Groupe International d'Architecture Prospective (GIAP) founded in Paris by Michel Ragon in 1965. Its manifesto, L’Architecture Insurrectionnelle, was published in Brussels in 1968. Winner in 1969 of the International Grand Prize of Urbanism and Architecture in Cannes, Chanéac began to participate in 1971 in the Habitat Evolutif Association with Pascal Häusermann and Antti Lovag. In 1976, he built his own house in Aix-les-Bains. He designed many buildings in Haute-Savoie in the 1980s using a regionalist approach.