Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yona Friedman Presentation

My theory course is turning out to be really interesting with relevance to both my tech seminar and the urban research in studio. Once again, its examining the role that systems theory and the increasing influence computerized networks had on art and architecture of 60s and 70s. Last week's topic was interactivity and semi-connected systems. This week's topic: the network. Discussions included Mark Wigley's essay Network Fever as well as class presentations on Team X and the Metabolists. I presented the work of Yona Friedman focusing on his Mobile Urbanism and plan for Paris. Mobility for Friedman was an inclusive, adaptable system that could provide for individual preference and situate it into a collective without conflicts. The infrastructure for this was a large space frame over Paris to hold isolated housing units. This was supplemented by a virtual infrastructure of probabilities, and statistical analysis to construct a direct interface for occupants. The architect would become obsolete and the computer would configure everyone's apartment according to the input they would provide. Meanwhile growth issues would be solved by juxtaposing a second layer over the city.

While his work would later influence Archigram and the Metabolists, the ideas never seemed to be adequately thought through- a provocative view on urbanism and the role of the individual but far from a potential solution.