Friedman stated that architectural problems can be resolved geometrically as well as in other ways. This should be no problem, even for the structural engineer. The structural engineer prefers geometrical solutions as they are easy to program. Friedman felt that should not be the aim in itself. “I have difficulty with anything that is predetermined. And I am really very much against the convention of using geometry.” (See also Quirky configurations, Esthetics, Complexity and Merz Principle).
As a student Friedman tried to draw completely irregular forms and use them like folding screens, a chain of panels that you can arrange in a completely irregular form. Later in life he set out to create structures that allow randomness and are unpredictable.
Playing with principles of forms Yona Friedman liked to stretch these over the boundaries of traditional use. He made a study of the phenomenon of tensegrity. The term tensegrity was coined by Buckminster Fuller as a contraction of ‘tensional integrity’. Tensional integrity or floating compression, is a structural principle based on the use of isolated components in compression inside a net of continuous tension, in such a way that the compressed members (usually bars or struts) do not touch each other and the prestressed tensioned members (usually cables or tendons) delineate the system spatially. (Explanation in Wikipedia).
Friedman combined the principle of tensegrity with the use of irregular elements, thus coining a new principle: ‘Irregular tensegrity’. In his own words: “Usually with geometrical pattern, ‘irregular tensegrity’ does not follow a pattern: the roads (compression members) are kept stable between two stretched plastic foils (tension elements). Instead the roads (the elements compensating pressure), one can use elements with any shape, thus transforming the structure into a kind of sculpture.”
This study completed the series.
–Cardtravel Boxes, 1990-2000
–Le Train, 1992
–Irregular tensegrity, 2000-2005
Related projects and studies
–Amorphous Architecture, 1994-2009
–Ville Spatiale, visualization of the principles, 1958-2006
–Space Chains, 1970
–Protein Structures, 1992
–Crumpled Sheets, 1992-1996
–Lamel structures, 1990
–Project for MART, 2006
–Exhibition in CAPC Bordeaux, 2008
–Exhibition CNEAI Chatou, 2007