The Yona Friedman papers contain
manuscripts, sketches and drawings, and photographs and slides documenting the broad
intellectual activity of this visionary architect and planner. In his primary role as a
theoretician, Friedman was a key participant in many of the defining architectural
discussions of the second half of the twentieth century, including topics such as
megastructures, prefabrication and modular construction, adaptability and participatory
Yona Friedman has spent his almost seventy-year career defying definition and categories.
Architect, urbanist, filmmaker, sociologist, theoretician, philosopher, economist,
mathematician, physicist, artist-Friedman is all, and yet not precisely any, of these, as
the vocations are usually interpreted. The roles of architect and urbanist may weave the
most consistent thread through his long history, but Friedman's work forces a re-evaluation
of what it means to be either of these. Although he can claim only a handful of realized
structures, Friedman cannot be dismissed as a mere utopian visionary. Seeded by experiences
in the massive political and social upheaval of the mid-20th century-the Holocaust, life as
a refugee in the aftermath of World War II, nation-building in Israel-Friedman's ideas on
the built environment and its inhabitants have been key elements in the architectural and
urban planning discourses of the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.
75.8 Linear Feet
(161 boxes, 15 flatfiles, 5 boxed rolls)
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