Yona Friedman. Notes and Sketches on a New Museum of Modern Art. 1999

Yona Friedman Notes and Sketches on a New Museum of Modern Art 1999

  • Not on view

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.
Electric photostatic print
11 3/4 x 8 1/4" (29.8 x 21 cm)
Gift of the architect
Object number
© 2021 Yona Friedman
Architecture and Design

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].