Dominique Rouillard: Just what is it that makes Friedman so appealing ? today and yesterday

The current reappraisal for Yona Friedman?s thought and projects is in itself a matter of reflection. Beyond utopia, and before the present appropriation of his work by different art and fashion events, it seems important to recall that his work? mainly his powerful and comprehensive spatial city project at the turn of the fifties and sixties ? has been first reevaluated within history and theory of architecture. Friedman is undoubtedly imbedded in the megastructuralist trend, as could be, with a very closed concern, an architect as Eckhardt Schulze-Fielitz, and in spite of their shared denial or revulsion for the movement and the term. We can say that megastructure, if we put into apart its colossal dimension which too often catches the attention, has already fulfilled its historical mission, even if it?s not the one expected by megastructuralists of the time. In a way, Friedman?s projects could be split in five theoretical cities which emphasize the actual relevance of his work for the present architecture and urban-design. Among them, his very first and pragmatic approach of a ?survival through design? theory has remained his leading project from the fifties to the eighties. Friedman?s work has recently gained new audiences, a process also demonstrated by the symposium.