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Yona Friedman, UTOPIE REALIZZABILI, 2016

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Among the numerous theoretical texts published by Yona Friedman – in different fields, from sociology to physics – Realizable utopias (written in 1974) is presented as an apparent contradiction in terms. Yet Friedman warns, believing in a utopia and being at the same time realistic is not a contradiction, «a utopia is, par excellence, achievable» on the condition of obtaining the necessary collective consensus because a utopia imposed by force is no longer such. A generous and not paternalist utopia cannot be realized by a mass: only small groups can do it because only within them direct communication is effective: «Generalized communication is therefore only possible when the facts to be communicated are already known to everyone previously; it is not possible to propagate new ideas».The radical criticism of global communication – sketched well before the advent of the Internet – and the theory of the “critical group”, argued with a flat and rational language, are perhaps the main results of this study that in addition to theory offers rules for its application. After all, Friedman’s almost messianic confidence in the small groups of today, which will be the majorities of the future, reflects what Robert Musil had already observed: «but utopia has about the same meaning of possibility […] The present is nothing more than a hypothesis not yet overcome».

Yona Friedman – Utopia Realizzabili
Series: Quodlibet Bis
Translation by Susanna Spero
Postface by Manuel Orazi
240 pages, 12.2 x 19.5 cm