Ratti is once again a spokesman for the values for the protection and enhancement of the historical and artistic heritage by hosting “lconostase”, an architecture, a mobile and modular museum located in its own park, between the office building and the factory, where it creates an ideal extension of the company architecture. The structure, an iconostasis formed by about 500 iron circles of 150 cm diameter each, all connected together, is an artistic and architectural work in progress. Composed by “improvisation” and applying Yona Friedman’s Space-Chain Techniques, it gives value to the concepts of autonomy, adaptability, sustainability, self-organization, self-planning.
Yona Friedman is one of the most important exponents of post-war radical architecture. He supports the principles of an architecture capable of understanding the continuous transformations of social mobility, based on “infrastructures” that provide housing and urban planning rules that can be created and recreated, depending on the needs of inhabitants and residents. His mindset on architecture and urban planning is always sensitive to developments that characterize the social, economic and environmental context. Yona Friedman prefers a form of mobile, sustainable and intercultural architecture that can adapt to the great changes of our contemporaneity.
Friedman actively participated in the cultural and utopian climate of the architecture of the 1960s, known as the “Age of the megastructure”, developing the idea of the Ville Spatiale. He has worked for the United Nations and UNESCO, through the dissemination of some self-construction manuals in African, South American and India countries. On the occasion of the designing of Lycée Bergson in Angers, France, completed in 1981, he published a procedure according to which the distribution and arrangement of all the architectural elements were designed and decided by future users. A large part of his work is developed through theoretical texts and drawings that summarize his thoughts to a wide audience.
He has participated in numerous international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta and his works are present in the collections of the most important international museums.
Following the basic principles of the mobile museum, the rings are today in their sixth assembly. Before arriving in Guanzate, they constituted the structural elements of Architecture without Building, an exhibition curated by Lorenzo Benedetti held at the Dutch museum De Vleeshal; they then traveled to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp at the invitation of the students and of Nico Dockx, to become the Museum without Building. The structure has been exhibited for three years at the Antonio Ratti Foundation, where, following Friedman’s thought, it has been transformed into form and content according to the necessities, conversations and ideas of the people who, from time to time, took part in the project Yona Friedman Museum – Le Musée du Quotidien. Finally, the structure was exhibited in the exhibition Fabric as art. Antonio Ratti entrepreneur patron (October 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018, Palazzo Te, Mantua) and ARABESQUES. Antonio Ratti, fabric as art (March 14 – May 20, 2018, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano). On these last two occasions, Friedman chose to combine iron wheels with a series of works printed on fabric by Ratti S.p.A. The drawings of the fabrics represented the theme of truth analyzed by Friedman in the course of his long career, which sees architecture mirrored in careful analyses of the contemporary society in continuous change.
In welcoming the work of Yona Friedmand into his own production reality, Ratti reaffirms his link with the art world, renewing, also thanks to the homonymous Foundation, those values that are part of the tradition and history of the company. The legacy of the group is indeed the result of a heritage consolidated over the years, driven by a significant push towards artisan excellence and originated from a complex of knowledge that, since 1945, have outlined a new creative model of style.