Self reliance

In developing and propagating his concepts, Friedman has often worked beyond the field of architecture while consciously tailoring his language to his audience. Through his teaching activities and publications, his body of ideas became widely diffused within various spheres of society. To make these accessible to non professionals and help people to make informed choices, he decided to present his ideas in a form similar to comic books, or ‘manuals’ as Friedman calls them. (Learn more going to Links).

His manuals made for Unesco in the 1970’s focused on using simple technologies to survive in the slum areas of the Third World. He elaborated on this theme with the foundation of the Museum for Simple Technology in Madras in 1986 and worked with Eda Schaur with whom he established the Communication Centre of Survival Knowledge. (See also in the Bibliography).

In addition to material issues, Friedman dealt with the subject of practical democracy in operation. The series of manuals also contain practical instructions on how to survive using simple technologies for survival in the Third World. Friedman later advocated an urban economy based on self-sufficiency.

Friedman also considered that the urban dweller of the western world should be less dependent. In his view, people should do less specialized work and should develop more craft and agricultural skills, an idea he later coined ‘The peasant Society’. (See the title Pauvreté in Sujets quasi-politiques).

Manuals, 1973
Museum of Simple Technology, 1982

Related projects and studies
Movable Boxes, 1949
Spatial settlements, 1959
Flatwriter, 1967
Bamboo constructions, 1970-1975
Green Architecture, 1979
Domes, 1982
Bronx Museum NY, 1986
2 walls + 1 roof, 1992