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Automatic ArchitectureMotivating Form after Modernism$
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Sean Keller

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226496498

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226496528.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

The Politics of Form Finding

The Politics of Form Finding

Frei Otto and Postwar German Architecture

(p.99) 3. The Politics of Form Finding
Automatic Architecture

Sean Keller

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the German Frei Otto’s research into form finding and natural models for design, with a particular focus on the West German Pavilion for Expo 67 in Montreal and the 1975 Multihalle in Mannheim, both projects in which Otto played a leading role. Otto's work was based on the premise that, in parallel to nature, architectural forms could be shaped as optimal responses to their physical environments. Confronting the challenges of postwar Germany, Otto gave an explicitly political valence to this naturalistic methodology, describing it as both anti-Fascist and proto-environmental.

Keywords:   Frei Otto, Expo 67, Multihalle, form finding

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