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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, really little has been released on his paintings. A dialog with Frei Otto includes a complete 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 little thing from his early connections to the Bauhaus to his options at the present kingdom of engineering and structure. the most recent in our Conversations sequence, this booklet additionally contains pictures of Otto's most vital and recognized works.

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Extra resources for A Conversation with Frei Otto

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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.

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.

Drawings by Otto. 35 36 When I was seven or eight years old, I invented inline skates, which are so common today. 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.

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