Who said utopias are never realized?
Advocating for a simple and pragmatic approach, Yona Friedman’s “manuals” are an invitation to consider the most fundamental questions on life in society.
These manuals are tools. They are published to make utopias feasible: the non-paternalistic society, the spatial city, the urban village, survival architecture, mobile architecture… (these utopias are often realized by themselves). […] These manuels do not offer any solution. The solution must be invented by the reader, they awaken the capacity to think and act oneself. If one stops delegating one’s power to the architect, to the institution, to the expert, if one dares use his natural skills (thought, language, drawing…), man can develop a non-paternalistic society, a society where those who decide are those who live with the consequences of their decisions.
Displaying his ideas in the form of short sentences and drawings (”bandes dessinées”), Friedman wanted to communicate in the simplest and most accessible way possible. His goal: find a commonplace which would allow both the specialist and the man on the street to understand each other.
Caring about broadcasting ideas and educating people, Friedman choses the most affordable means.
Then comes the question of diffusing these manuals. These drawings could also be in audiovisual format, but that would require expensive equipment. There is another medium: wall posters. It is the cheapest technique.
Children are born utopians
it is strange to discover
that poor neighbourhoods in poor countries
are often nearer to children’s utopia
than affluent neighbourhoods in rich countries.
Children’s utopia is not an expensive one, but it is incompatible with war.