No Man’s Land Foundation is a model for social and ethical change aiming to cancel the idea of property, a project repeatable in any place in the world.
No Man’s Land is a gift that art offers to all. Following Friedman’s philosophy the ones participating to the projects will create an open dialogue through artistic interactions and interventions sharing ideas, needs and thoughts.
Yona Friedman’s work and thinking is processual, working in fact on the basis of a trajectory in continuous growth and evolution, comprising the experience and contribution of every single person taking part. This empirical approach leads to a change of the individual and to an opening with a thousand variables, linked to the people, to the context, and to the culture of the place it happens to be in, to many factors that make each project part of this trajectory – unique and unrepeatable.
The project No Man’s Land by Yona Friedman with Jean-Baptiste Decavèle was commissioned by ARIA Foundation under the artistic direction of Cecilia Casorati and realized with the support and collaboration of Zerynthia Association OdV.
No Man’s Land Foundation was constituted in 2016 in Loreto Aprutino, Italy, and recognised as a legal entity in March 2017.
Mario Pieroni, RAM radioartemobile and Zerynthia Association for Contemporary Art OdV
Lorenzo Benedetti / Cecilia Casorati / Cinzia Catalfamo / Domenico D’Orsogna /
Jean-Baptiste Decavèle / Giovanna Felluga / Marianne Friedman-Polonsky /
Hou Hanru / Arnoldo Mosca Mondadori / Chiara Parisi / Dora Stiefelmeier
For Yona Friedman architecture is constructed on an exponential basis. It is not a unique building, tied to a specific place and dedicated to a sole individual, but rather a concept of plurality, dissemination, movement and change. The architecture proposed by Yona Friedman is not afraid of change, it is not afraid that society and history render its projects ancient, because within the ideas of its projects society is always at the centre. A changing society in which the buildings, the infrastructures are moulded around men and living beings. It is an architecture that invents new spaces, that reflects upon the type of territory.
This exponential basis of his architecture also – and perhaps above all – allows the architecture to be thought of as a means of communication. A way of dialoguing and spreading ideas.
Architecture as power, based on plurality, the construction of ideas. Exponential also means therefore the possibility of reproducing and spreading the architecture around the world. Mobile and swift like ideas, the architectures follows an almost biological form of reproduction and dissemination.
An architecture that imagines possible worlds, including the greatest number of variables. Yona Friedman constructs the architecture of the possible in which ideas can take shape and transform. A mobile, dynamic architecture that considers the ever-evolving conditions of the world. For this reason, the architecture of Friedman is not a solid, static thing. There are no heavy materials, large blocks of stone, cement, but forms that are ancestral and which recall all the cultures of the world. Circles, lines, elementary modules unite to build complex structures able to host all possible worlds.
It is difficult to imagine a more plural architecture than that of one of the greatest representatives of radical architecture. Built upon bamboo canes, metal circles that can, out of few modules, create an infinity of combinations. As many as the people that can inhabit them. This is in fact Friedman’s magical invention, that of building something that everyone can potentially transform, adapt, change. Each person becomes the actor in his projects.
An architecture that looks to the future because it is itself in constant transformation. For this reason, mobility, dynamism, being interactive become fundamental elements in his work as an architect.
Exposing exponentially. A dynamic that allows for the construction of anything from a dog’s kennel to a megalopolis. Everything converges into the same capacity of being flexible, mobile. Of knowing how to construct something that in time can change radically and totally.
As a member of the scientific committee I like to stimulate new “processes” along the same investigative lines that I’ve been following for years in my role as cultural mediator for exchange between art and business. It was precisely from this exchange that in 2014 the Vigne Museum by Yona Friedman with Jean-Baptiste Decavèle was born in celebration of the hundredth birthday of the patriarch of wine Livio Felluga. The Vigne Museum Association, created later, is today part of the network of projects linked to the No Man’s Land Foundation.
Yona Friedman’s projects are always based on flexible, mobile, transparent and transformable structures, often made of elementary forms assembled in free, open and improvisational manner inspired by Moebian ribbons and other evolutionary formations… Like organic cells to form various bodies, they can be woven into either small-scale shelters or entire urban districts, sometimes even floating over ancient cities to become “spatial cities”. Remarkably, they are always intimately and harmoniously interacting with natural ecosystems. They are at once fantastically utopian and directly founded on the urgent needs of human survivals in a challengingly changing global environment… The simple and fragile appearances of Friedman’s propositions imply, systematically and intelligently, the most enduring and sustainable possibilities because they are so flexible and open that they can always adapt to all immediate and long-term changes. They continue to evolve. This process leads to an entirely new approach to envision and create buildings, cities and even the world that combines imagination – embodying both individual and collective creativities – and respect of the rules of ecological sustainability.
Eventually, this has an ample potential of social, economic and political transformation. Participation of the grass-root communities can generate a new relationship between the inhabitant and the designer, and further, between, the users and the producers, through equal dialogues and collaborations. This can ultimately transform the model of division of labour, hence the economic and political relations between the powerful and the dominated. A new foundation for a more democratic society can hence be envisaged.
This turn of public participation can truly improve the conditions of urban life according to the needs of the inhabitants. Particularly, Friedman encourages people to develop together new networks of “urban villages (villages urbains)”, that will be able to be expanded to forming a new world vision.
Yona Friedman’s projects, ultimately, are dreamlike and natural expansions of the realm of real life. They are much closer to realisable utopias that we can all share and build together…
The interest, the role and the objectives of No Man’s Land Foundation especially lie in projects based works with young and established artists who think and envision the space of an exhibition (indoor or outdoor) beyond a place for mere display or presentation, artists who desire to connect this temporal and spatial flexibility with the complexity of their works and the hosting environment.
As Yona Friedman says, the No Man’s Land Foundation stems from a gift, that of the land made available. I would like to observe that this donation is without ostentation, it is not a potlatch, it is not a manifestation of power.
The spirit of No Man’s Land is not even that of the gratuity of a service, that is, of the logic of an inverted market. It is not a public work.
The spirit of No Man’s is that of sharing and of opening, resembling the open source of the software world but centred on the land that is available to all. No Man’s Land is a challenge.