In Friedman’s work structures always serve to facilitate freedom. Whether this concerns the occupant or urban planner, or the architect or artist, Friedman links the concepts of structure and freedom again and again.

As an urban planner he propagates a system that can be easily adapted to changing needs. He elaborated this system in his proposal for the Ville Spatiale from 1959. As an architect he sought to cater for the occupants by providing flexible building methods that allow spaces to be modified and adapted according to the needs of the moment, and that can be easily altered later. When such projects were realized, there would be no predefined final image, but only an indication. The esthetic pleasure for Friedman lays in representing possible outcome in complex abstract drawings.

For Friedman the term ‘complexity’ has a meaning beyond its general understanding. The usual understanding complexity, also extreme complexity, refers to a finite number of elements with a direct relation between all of them. The outcome is that there will be  a finite complexity, a finite number of elements. In what Friedman calls ‘the complicated order’ there is a quirky unpredictable curve caused by introducing the process that creates the reality. This leads to a infinite number of possible complicated orders. A vast body of his work is dedicated to allowing for this ‘complicated order’ to happen. (See also –Merz Principle).

Ville Spatiale, scale of the concept, 1958-1962

Related projects and studies
Flatwriter, 1967
Ville Spatiale, visualization of the principles, 1958-2006
Space Chains, 1970
Lamel structures, from 1990
Macaroni, 1992
Le Train, 1992
Moebian structures, 2000
Exhibition in CAPC Bordeaux, 2008
Merz Principle