Friedman’s Spatial City is a structural framework system suitable for urban and rural applications; adjustable and minimally invasive, it privileges the user’s interests and does not displace or interrupt the landscape. Friedman designed the lightweight, flexible, and mobile structure in 1958–59 to accommodate what he saw as inevitable changes in society, influenced by the French housing shortage of the 1950s. Here, Friedman has adapted this conceptual framework in a proposal for The Museum of Modern Art’s new building (eventually designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi and completed in 2004), subjecting the museum space to an iconoclastic revision that brings it closer to the informality of an open-air market. The project underlines Friedman’s intention to offer an emancipatory architecture that would let its inhabitants build spaces according to their own needs rather than being subject to the paternalism of a master builder.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.