In this interview conducted by the Brigtje van der Haak maker of the documentary Lagos Wide & Close, Rem Koolhaas discusses his research on the urbanization of Nigeria‘s largest city, Lagos. While this research is as yet unpublished, Koolhaas discusses external influences on the city’s architecture, how his visits have affected his view of the profession, and Lagos’ future potential. The documentary by van der Haak, released on DVD in 2004, is an interactive exploration of Lagos from a multitude of scales. Now, it has been adapted for the web, and can be viewed in its entirety here!
Originally published on Metropolis Magazine as “The Future of Architecture, According to a North Korean Architect,” this interview with Nick Bonner, Curator of the North Korean Portion of the Venice Biennale’s Korean Pavilion, delves into the realities of architectural work in one of the world’s most secretive countries.
There’s good chance you’ll never step foot in North Korea, which isn’t the same as saying you can’t. Interest in the socialist state is increasingly high, a fact reflected by a rise in tourists eager to discover the sites and spectacles of Pyongyang. Nick Bonner, founder of Koryo Tours, has been bringing visitors to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for over two decades. He recently curated a small exhibition in the Korean Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.
For “Utopian Tours” Bonner commissioned designs from an unidentified North Korean architect, asking him to envision a whole new infrastructure for accommodating larger and larger groups of tourists. The resulting handdrawn illustrations are fascinating: the future of architecture—at least in North Korea—looks a lot like yesterday’s future, where tourists travel in hovercraft RVs, and workers live in ziggurat-shaped hotels inspired by mountains and trees.
Metropolis asked the trained landscape architect to give us a tour inside the present architecture scene of one of the world’s most isolated countries today.
We sat down with Leong Leong Architecture, designers of the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale to discuss their concept for OfficeUS. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture, Leong Leong was tasked with designing a temporary and multi-functional space for architectural practice and exhibition. The minimal, airy US Pavilion features over 1000 projects designed by American architects abroad, set amongst a functional office space.
Seated in the work space of one of the “partners” and surrounded by a steady stream of visitors, Dominic Leong described the design process: “The mission of the project was to generally try to understand modernism in relationship to architectural office.” The firm strived to adapt the space in keeping with the Biennale theme of “Absorbing Modernity” set by Rem Koolhaas: ”A large part of our design was to reconfigure the perception of a very neoclassical building – the US Pavilion.” Leong added: “The project was boiled down into two main components: the repository and history of architecture researched by the curators, and an architectural office which was conceived as a prototype for a new mode of architectural production.”
Take a look at the full interview to find out more about Leong Leong Architecture and their concept for the US Pavilion. Make sure to check out our full coverage of the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale here.
In the following interview, presented by ArchDaily Materials and originally published by Sixty7 Architecture Road, Canadian firm Campos Leckie Studio defines their process for designing site-specific, beautiful architecture that speaks for itself. Enjoy the firm’s stunning projects and read the full interview after the break.
We asked Michael Leckie, one of the principals of Vancouver-based Campos Leckie Studio, about the importance of discovery in design and the textural differences between projects. Your website states that your firm is committed to a rigorous process of discovery. How do you explain that to clients?
Process is extremely important in our work. When we meet with clients we do not immediately provide napkin sketches or an indication of what form the work will ultimately take on. Rather, we focus on the formulation of the ‘design problem’ and the conditions that establish the basis for exploration and discovery. These contextual starting points include the site, program, materiality, budget, as well as cultural reference points. This is challenging for some clients, as our culture generally conditions people to expect to see the final product before they commit to something.
A collection of 41 interviews conducted by students at the Strelka Institute, entitled Future Urbanism, is now available online. The interviews feature architects, urban planners, sociologists, researchers, and other professionals from fields related to urban studies, emphasizing the Strelka Institute’s mandate for interdisciplinary thinking. To take a look at the interviews, see here.
We’re architects. We travel the world to meet the women and men who build our world.
In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Q&A: Melissa Weigel of Moment Factory“, Leslie Gallery-Dilworth talks with Weigel about the challenges of devising multimedia installations for public spaces, as in their recent installation for the Bradley International Terminal at LAX.
Montreal’s Moment Factory, a new media and entertainment studio, is best known for creating and producing multimedia environments that combine video, lighting, architecture, sound, and special effects. You may have seen their work at Cirque du Soleil, Madonna’s 2012 Superbowl Half Time Show, Disney’s E3 booth, or Jay Z’s Carnegie Hall debut. Perhaps you were there when they lit up the facade of the Sagrada Familia or Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles district. Or maybe you saw that they were included in Apple’s recently launched 30th anniversary timeline.
Moment Factory was the main content provider for the interior concept and media features in the newly opened Bradley International Terminal at LAX, designed by Fentress Architects. It was a large collaboration consisting of several partners, including Mike Rubin with MRA International, Marcela Sardi of Sardi Design, Smart Monkey, Digital Kitchen, and Electrosonic with installation by Daktronics and Planar.
Reaction from passengers and the airport management at LAX has been, to put it most effectively, “WOW!” So was mine. That’s why I asked them to present the project at Dynamic Digital Environments-Master Class on Feb 11, at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. I produce this annual pre-conference education workshop and roundtable with architects and designers in mind. To preview our master class, I asked Moment Factory’s Melissa Weigel, senior multimedia director on Bradley International Terminal at LAX a few questions about the project.
In the following interview, which originally appeared in Zawia#01:Utopia (published December 2013), Sir Peter Cook, one of the brilliant minds behind Archigram, sits down with the editors of Zawia to discuss his thoughts on utopia – including why he felt the work of Archigram wasn’t particularly utopian (or even revolutionary) at all.
ZAWIA: It is perhaps difficult to discuss our next volume’s theme – “utopia” – without first starting with archigram and the visions that came out of that period. How do you view the utopian visions of archigram during that specific moment of history in relation to the current realities of our cities and the recent political and social waves of change ?
PETER COOK: Actually… at the time I was probably naive enough to not regard it as Utopian.
In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Q&A: Norman Foster on Niemeyer, Nature and Cities“, Paul Clemence talks with Lord Foster about his respect for Niemeyer, their meeting shortly before the great master’s death, and how Niemeyer’s work has influenced his own.
Last December, in the midst of a hectic schedule of events that have come to define Art Basel/Design Miami, I found myself attending a luncheon presentation of the plans for the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, by Foster + Partners. While chatting with Lord Foster, I mentioned my Brazilian background and quickly the conversation turned to Oscar Niemeyer. Foster mentioned the talk he and Niemeyer had shortly before the Brazilian’s passing (coincidentally that same week in December marked the first anniversary of Niemeyer’s death). Curious to know more about the meeting and their chat, I asked Foster about that legendary encounter and some of the guiding ideas behind his design for the Norton.
Read on for the interview
Designers & Books editors Stephanie Salomon and Steve Kroeter sat down with Denise Scott Brown for a conversation centered around Learning from Las Vegas, the seminal work penned by Scott Brown, Robert Venturi, and Steven Izenour in 1972. The must-read interview reveals some fantastic insight into Scott Brown’s personal and professional life – her unending love of neon (one which led her to Las Vegas), her distaste for the “tyranny of white paper” (which gravely afflicted the design of the first edition of Learning from Las Vegas),as well as her – rather surprising – position on awarding group creativity. Read the full interview here and check out some select quotes from the interview, after the break.
Chris Baribeau of Modus Studio is the exemplar of a “community builder.” With a mantra that moves beyond the building and believes the architect to be responsible for the creation of healthy and thoughtful places, Baribeau and his Fayetteville-based practice have built works that transcends ordinary design. Embodying everything in which drives Modus Studio, the award-winning Eco Modern Flats serves as a prime example of community-based, sustainable design.
Aires Mateus - founded by brothers and partners, Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus – is an acclaimed contemporary practice that upholds the strong tradition of Portuguese architecture. We recently had the chance to interview one of the partners: Francisco Aires Mateus.
Francisco Aires Mateus has been a professor in Portugal and Norway. Currently, he teaches at the University of Lugano and has given lectures and seminars in Spain, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Japan, and many other countries.
Aires Mateus has been awarded with the FAD Award on several occasions, and has also been a finalist for the Mies van der Rohe Award.
Projects by Aires Mateus on ArchDaily:
Thanks to the FAD Universidad Finis Terrae for making this interview possible.
Many would consider Greg Lynn the leader of computer-aided design in architecture – but Lynn himself begs to differ. He and the Canadian Centre for Architecture recently collaborated on “Archaeology of the Digital,” the first in a series of exhibitions that will showcase the work of the earliest adopters of digital techniques in architecture. The exhibit, which opened on May 7, focuses on work by Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenman, Chuck Hoberman, and Shoei Yoh. In this interview, originally published in Metropolis Magazine as “Computer Control,” Avinash Rajagopal speaks with Greg Lynn about some of the projects and the inspiration behind the exhibit itself.
Better known for his books and television documentaries, which address the importance of philosophy in our daily lives, Alain de Botton is founder of “Living Architecture,” a company which rents holiday homes designed by renowned architectural practices like: MVRDV, NORD, Jarmund/Vigsnaes, David Kohn Architects and Peter Zumthor. It was while writing the book “The Architecture of Happiness” that the Swiss/British philosopher had this idea. He has also been designated honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in acknowledgement of his services to architecture.
Hugo Oliveira: Architects like Alison and Peter Smithson believed that they could transform people’s lives for the better through architecture. Is this sort of innocence important?
Alain de Botton: The Smithson’s ambition is terrific. The problem is that architects can’t change the world until they become developers. At the moment, the best of our architects are merely hired jesters designed to enliven the egos and bank balances of large property developers.
In this interview with BD, Richard J Williams discusses his recent book “Sex and Buildings,” which analyses how some places, such as his home town of Edinburgh, ”wear their morality on their sleeve,” while other places. such as Brazil, have an idea that “modernism can be sexy.” He also talks about the US attitudes to sex and modernism, bringing up the ‘Playboy townhouse’ of the 1960s and the TV show Mad Men, as well as architects Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and John Portman. You can read the full interview here.
Charles Correa, arguably one of India’s greatest architects, is celebrated for his post-war work in India in which he connects modernism with local traditions. Digital magazine, uncube, has dedicated a full issue to this renowned architect and includes reviews of the RIBA exhibition currently on view in London, a look at his most influential architectural projects, assesses his role as urbanist and planner, and an interview in which Correa reflects on his own career.
Juan Herreros is one of the most influential Spanish architects practicing today. Executing a delicate balance between his role defining the practice of architecture with work in the academy, he has not only overseen the construction of significant built projects, but also teaches at School of Architecture of Madrid and is a Full Professor at GSAPP Columbia University in New York. It was recently announced that his winning proposal for the Munch Museum/Deichman Library competition was given the green light. The museum will house the world’s largest collection of Edvard Munch artworks and is scheduled to open in 2018.
Herreros strives to highlight architecture’s multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary nature by revealing the complex relationships that lie behind individual projects—undergirded by what Herreros identifies as a “technical culture” (see the exhibition Dialogue Architecture that he curated at the last Venice Biennale).
Together with Iñaki Abalos he founded Abalos&Herreros in 1984. In 1992 they founded the International Multimedia League (LMI), an organization that contributes to the simpliﬁcation and intensiﬁcation of artistic practice. Since 2006 he practices with the firm Herreros Arquitectos a collaborative office that has won numerous competitions and commissions. His projects can be found around the world and range from schemes for public spaces to designs for houses.
“Something unique about [our] studio is that, given the difficulties of doing research in architecture today and the usefulness of the “research applied to architecture” concept, we maintain two open, integrated lines of work: one line maintains small projects, very quick, very immediate; and the other is related to the large projects, generally the result of international competitions around the world.”
Check out a full transcript of our interview with Herreros after the break…
Not long ago we sat down with Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano of LOT-EK—a New York City- and Naples-based architectural design studio. Known for their work with shipping containers, they discuss the learning curve they have endured by using objects that fall outside of the typical materials specified in manuals. LOT-EK also explains that they have been influenced by the freedom exercised in contemporary art. In their attempt to look at the world through “different eyes,” they find that networking is indispensable since it “makes what [they] do relevant” and opens them up to new opportunities.
Widely acclaimed for the work on projects such as PUMA City, Pier 57 and Sanlitun South, LOT-EK has been practicing since 1993. Tolla and Lignano also teach at Columbia University’s GSAPP in New York, and at the MIT’s Graduate Department of Architecture, in Cambridge, MA.
Hear what they have to say about running a practice, studying architecture and balancing their projects in an increasingly globalized system in our interview. And check out LOT-EK’s projects on ArchDaily: