By Juan Maria Songel
One of many 20th century's most crucial layout visionaries, German architect and structural engineer Frei Otto(b. 1925) made his mark with a sequence of super-light tensile structures—such because the West German Pavilion for Montreal's Expo sixty seven and the Olympic Stadium in Munich (1972)—that are celebrated for his or her technical ingenuity and fabric potency. but regardless of Otto's achievements, rather little has been released on his paintings. A dialog with Frei Otto contains a entire interview with Otto in addition to his serious textual content Fundamentals of a destiny Architecture in its entirety. In his dialog with Juan María Songel, Otto talks freely approximately every thing from his early connections to the Bauhaus to his innovations at the present kingdom of engineering and structure. the newest in our Conversations sequence, this booklet additionally comprises photos of Otto's most vital and recognized works.
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Extra resources for A Conversation with Frei Otto
A Conversation with Frei Otto How do you see the role of the institute that you founded as a center of education in the field of lightweight construction? Could it be said that the institute has created a school of thought, which has educated an entire generation of engineers and architects? Influence would be a more adequate word, but only among a small circle. The institute has generated knowledge, which was published and which makes up a body of general knowledge, although it’s not applied. The institute today doesn’t exist as it did before, as it now works in other areas under the direction of my successor, Werner Sobek, who is undoubtedly a leader in his field.
Other systematizations of forms— such as those of Paul Klee or Iakov Chernikhov—seem more abstract, more geometric, perhaps more influenced by the artistic vanguards of the first third of the twentieth century, while your criteria reflect your search for a close relationship between form and strength. I think you’re referring to the possible influence of the formal inventions of classical modern architecture or of painting on my work. Naturally I know, among others, Piet Mondrian; I don’t know whether he has influenced my work or not: both yes and no.
You have referred to some current issues regarding your work with engineers. How do you see the role of the architect and the engineer today? As far as I can see, what I find odd today is that not being a physicist or a natural scientist, I really have to consult on natural sciences, on questions that have no longer anything to do with current architecture, but that in fact have always had something to do with historical architecture, from the middle ages up to modern times. At the moment architects voluntarily don’t want to A Conversation with Frei Otto have anything to do with natural sciences, but I think they make a serious mistake because construction is applied natural science.