Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Yona Friedman

Intelligence Starts With Improvisation

3 July 2008
FAR – Lungo Lario Trento

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Yona Friedman illustrates some of his ideas and sketches that are not necessarily part of an actual architectural project, in the aim of showing to CSAV students and to young architects that a different architecture is, if not possible, at least imaginable. The constant of all of the ideas is the conception of an open architecture, that the users could modulate and shape without being oppressed and having normative behaviors. Referring to the oriental typology of sliding panels, he summons an “elastic” architecture, which example could be extended to urbanistic models too.

Yona Friedman (b. 1923, Budapest – 2020, LA) was an architect, theoretician, essayist and artist. After escaping the Nazi roundups in World War II, Friedman lived for about a decade in Haifa, and then moved to Paris in 1957. He was trained as an architect and rose to prominence with his manifesto L’architecture Mobile (1958) and his idea for a different approach to urban growth with the Ville Spatiale from 1956. He upholds an architecture capable of including the ongoing transformations of society. Social mobility implies infrastructures, housings an urbanistic solutions that can be modified and recreated according to the needs of people and of the inhabitants. Friedman, and his theory of the bridge-city, have been key to the visionary and utopian phase of megastructure architecture in the Sixties. For the United Nations and UNESCO, he has produced a number of self-organizing architecture manuals distributed in Africa, South America and India.

Friedman's works have been presented in several international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta 11, and belong to collections of some of the most important international museums. Among his works is the project for the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Rovereto (2006), a reflection on the use of architecture in contemporary society.

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