A Conversation with Frei Otto (Conversations) by Juan Maria Songel

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 chain 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, really little has been released on his paintings. A dialog with Frei Otto contains a complete interview with Otto in addition to his severe textual content Fundamentals of a destiny Architecture in its entirety. In his dialog with Juan María Songel, Otto talks freely approximately every little thing from his early connections to the Bauhaus to his suggestions at the present kingdom of engineering and structure. the newest in our Conversations sequence, this publication additionally comprises pictures of Otto's most crucial and famous works.

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It is something very logical, which is in the air, but it’s silly to carry it out too soon, before the right moment arrives. An invention always has to arise at the right time and place and with the right people; if all these conditions aren’t present, the invention fails. In your experience as a pilot you also mention the fuselage design for a one-person plane as a grid shell. Yes, I arrived at grid shells through building fuselages of gliders and not by constructing buildings. So I began to focus on grid shells, and when I started to concentrate on the inversion of forms, all of this seemed completely logical and automatic to me.

51 52 The question is verifying the underlying theory in the program. Naturally, this is the job of the stress analyst supervising the structural design process who must always use different methods; some are simple methods, but others are not so simple. In reality, at least one small trial with models must be done, because on occasion very primitive trials with models may force one to see something unfeasible. But often trials aren’t carried out at all, because people believe that the amazing computer program guarantees enough safety.

As an architect, or as an artist, I can demonstrate that any sculpture can be built. I calculate the sculpture with the computer and I adapt its dimensions, thicknesses, or reinforcing steel bars in concrete according to the resulting static calculation; that is, I don’t find forms, but I create forms. The computer only acts as if it has found the forms. If we keep in mind that an infinite amount of forms could be created this way, the person sitting in front of the computer has really created them and not just found them.

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