French architect Yona Friedman has unveiled his first public project in the United States with The Institute of Contemporary Art and the Miami Design District. Dubbed Space-Chain Phantasy-Miami 2019, the work is sited inside of the Miami Design District's Paradise Plaza. Drawing from a lifetime of developing ideas that empower users and generate democratic cities, Friedman's new prototype is inspired by Miami. The work reflects on Friedman's perspective that architecture should be flexible, mobile, and adjust to the needs of its inhabitants.
The District's inaugural public art initiative with the ICA launched in 2017. This public sculpture continues a collaborative initiative between ICA Miami and the Miami Design District, and is curated by Alexandra Cunningham Cameron and Gean Moreno, Curator of Programs at ICA Miami. Space-Chain Phantasy-Miami 2019 is accompanied by a 100-page publication with newly-commissioned scholarly essays and graphic projects, including Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, and Jimenez Lai, among others.
Friedman is recognized as one the most important architectural thinkers of the postwar period,” states Gean Moreno, Curator of Programs at ICA Miami and along with Alexandra Cunningham Cameron is a co-curator of Friedman’s project. “He has developed a number of innovative theories and fostered a highly conceptual practice that ventures into sociology, urban planning, filmmaking, mathematics, economics, and information science. In his thinking Friedman emphasizes the freedom and autonomy of the user or inhabitant, reacts to technological advancements, and calls for a responsible relationship with the environment.”
"We are honored to have Yona’s work on display in the Miami Design District and thrilled that he chose us for the location of his first project in the U.S,” said Craig Robins, CEO of Dacra Development and developer of the Miami Design District. “The public sculpture initiative with ICA Miami has brought some extraordinary talent to Paradise Plaza and Yona’s architectural design is a welcomed addition to the neighborhood.”
Over the last two decades, Yona Friedman has developed projects for international exhibitions and institutions, including documenta, Kassel, Germany; Serpentine Gallery, London; and the Venice Biennale, among many others. His work can be found in the collections across the world.