"You're boosted. Your energy levels are higher, your oxygen is flowing, your mind is clear." Michel Rojkind has, by any standard lived a life of passion - first as a bonafide rockstar and now as an award-winning architect (not least among them an ArchDaily Building of the Year 2017 for his Foro Boca.) But those following Michel Rojkind's social media know what his true daily passion is.
For all his jet-setting ways, Rojkind is never without his running shoes and rarely starts his day without a run. We met Michel in Prague at reSITE 2018 ACCOMMODATE where some of the best minds from all across the globe discussed how to make housing more affordable and cities better prepared to accommodate the next generation of urban dwellers. Michel was the one who said that “we need to design for other things to happen,” stressing the importance of all types of impact - social, economic, environmental - that every designer has to keep in mind.
True to form, Rojkind embarked on a run the next morning, this time bringing three dozen of the reSITE participants with him. The runners journeyed through the city, visiting Prague's most iconic panoramas, buildings, parks, viewpoints, and river banks. He then talked with reSITE's founder and architect Martin Barry, to explain what “RUN WITH ROJKIND” means and how it helps him in his work as a designer and architect.
After they saw all the postcard views of Prague, they gathered in a symbolic place: Manifesto Market, a new temporary urban intervention/container market which has turned a once derelict and unattractive plot of land in the heart of Prague into one of the most vibrant and innovative spots in the city. The bottom-up idea initiated by reSITE was brought to life by Martin Barry himself.
Michel Rojkind is the founder of Rojkind Arquitectos, an architecture studio based in Mexico City, Mexico. He is known for his designs such as Cineteca National, Tori Tori, Mercado Roma, and the stunning Foro Boca, a concert hall located in Veracruz, Mexico.
Martin is the Founder & CEO of Manifesto Market and Founder & Chairman of reSITE. reSITE is a nonprofit organization focused on improving quality of life in cities that focuses on experience, design and event organization in Europe and the United States.
As a landscape architect, Martin has led multi-disciplinary teams on complex urban projects in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He is the 2016 recipient of the President’s Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and his projects at W Architecture have received dozens of design awards in North America. His most recent achievement is Manifesto Market, an internationally recognized gastro market and culture incubator that was developed with 27 shipping containers in the center of Prague, Czech Republic (EU) with global expansion plans underway.
"Architecture Should be About What It Can Do, Not What it Can Look Like": In Conversation with Michel Rojkind
Born in 1969 in Mexico City, Michel Rojkind was educated in the 1990s at the Universidad Iberoamericana, while also performing as a drummer in Aleks Syntek's popular rock band la Gente Normal. He opened his practice Rojkind Arquitectos in 2002.
Today, Michel Rojkind is widely known as one of Mexico's most successful, and at times flamboyant, architects of the 21st century. But in spite of his success, his path to architecture was never straightforward; before founding Rojkind Arquitectos, he spent over a decade as a drummer in pop-rock band Aleks Syntek y La Gente Normal, an experience which he actually credits with sparking his interest in architecture.