Yona Friedman (b. 1923) is an architect and theorist whose utopian projects deal with issues of urban planning, infrastructure and the empowerment of the user. Friedman’s ideas are based on individual freedom, empowerment of the inhabitants and unpredictability, engaging in his projects contemporary, sociology, economics and politics.
Selected solo shows: Mobil Architecture. Yona Friedman, MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2017, solo); Utopia/Dystopia, MAAT, Museum Art Architecture Technology, Lisbon (2017); Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Paris (2016, solo); L’humain expliqué aux extraterrestres, CNEAI, Chatou (2016, solo); Prototype improvisé de type nuage, MAMAC, Nice (2016, solo); Volcano Extravaganza 2016 I Will Go Where I Don’t Belong, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli (2016); Serpentine Summer Houses 2016, Serpentine Gallery, London (2016); Prototype improvisé de type nuage, MAMAC, Nice (2016); Yona Friedman, École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-La Villette, Paris (2015, solo); Architecture without building, with Jean- Baptiste Decavèle, De Vleeshal, Middelburg (2014, solo); Double-jeu, Les Turbulences, FRAC Centre – Orléans (2014); Utopies & Innovations / Architectures transfrontalières, Espace Fernet-Branca, Saint-Louis (2010); Métropole Europe/ Europa Metrópolis, Musac, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (2011, solo); Biennale internationale Design, Saint-Etienne (2010).
An architect, a theorist, a writer and an artist, Yona Friedman, born 1923 in Budapest, is one of the figures whose contribution is essential to the history of contemporary architecture. He invented concepts like mobile architecture, spatial or continental cities, feasible utopias and self-planning, making him a trailblazer, and which still mark and influence many contemporary projects. Friedman collaborated with Jean Rouch on the very successful animated cartoons, African Tales, made for television broadcast in Africa. These tales of various African origins reveal a complex cultural wealth, representing a totally innovative look and approach to diversity and multiculturalism. Iconostase is a modular structure connecting gymnastics hoops, which erase the distinction between container and content, between works of art and architecture. The form of these sets is as much a model, as it is a work of art. These structures allow us to discover the different types of constructions imagined by Yona Friedman, and they invite visitors to ponder the idea of a work of art.