Yona Friedman -The Ville Spatiale - Visualisation of an Idea, 53th Venice Biennial, 2009.

Yona Friedman

Born in 1923, Yona Friedman, an architect, urbanist and philosopher of Hungarian origin, has been living in Paris since 1957. He studied at the Institute of Technology in Budapest, Hungary, and in Haifa, Israel. His unique approach to architecture and urbanism seems to stem from his engineering training and the particular and experimental context produced by the birth of a State. Fairly early on he introduced the theory of “self-planning”, whereby dwelling design is based on the experience of its users, thus going against the grain of post-war functionalism and its massive, uniform constructions. This then gave rise to the concept of “mobile architecture” (as defined in Friedman’s eponymous 1958 manifesto): the architect limits his activity to designing the essential aspects of a construction – the immobile property (l’immobilier) – namely, the foundations and structure, whereas the other elements can, like movable house furnishings (le mobilier), be freely arranged by the user.