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Arch Daily Interviews: The Latest Architecture and News

Building Community: The Women of Sasaki Designing More Sustainable and Inclusive Futures

Celebrating community, three interdisciplinary leaders of design firm Sasaki are building space for change. Defining the future through collective, contextual, and values-driven projects, they are showing how working together produces greater impact. Following the belief that better design comes through open exchange and deep engagement, each of these women are creating more sustainable and inclusive futures.

Courtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of Sasaki+ 12

The Women of HKS: Architects and Researchers Designing Resilient Cities

Designing resilient cities combines practical solutions with innovative ideas. Interdisciplinary global firm HKS is working to bring these ambitions to life with researchers, urban designers, nurses, anthropologists, graphic designers and more. Viewing design as a process of discovery, three directors at HKS are leading how cities explore research, equity and integration to create more resilient futures.

TWU 20 Year Vision. Image Courtesy of HKSUCSD North Torrey Pines. Image © Kehaulani CrooksHKS Hospital Asuncion Paraguay. Image Courtesy of HKSHKS Nemours Children's Hospital. Image Courtesy of HKS+ 11

The Best Architecture Interviews of 2020

One of the most rewarding aspects of working with architecture publications is the possibility of meeting and becoming closer to the experts that are effectively transforming the discipline, either with built projects, research, experiments, theories, or even with works in other fields. In this sense, interviews perform a special role among all the different types of content published every day by ArchDaily, as we can get a closer insight into what some of the most distinguished and promising people have to say about the present and the future of architecture and cities.

With more than two hundred interviews published in our platforms, in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese, conducted in various formats – video recordings, transcripts, interviews by e-mail, video calls, or even podcasts –, it's safe to say that 2020 was a year of intensive learning during which we have become, paradoxically, closer than ever before to an inspiring group of architecture professionals.

"Transdisciplinarity Is Essential to Architecture": An Interview with Office Vão

Vão is a transdisciplinary architecture office based in São Paulo, Brazil, created in 2013 by Anna Juni, Enk te Winkel, and Gustavo Delonero. The office operates in a territory between fields, exploring multiple subjects and scales ranging from art installations to residential architecture, as well as cultural, commercial, and corporate facilities, seeking to dissolve or push the boundaries between disciplines to enhance architectural thinking and practice.

Recently we had the opportunity to talk with the team partners about some of the topics that shape the firm's approach and also look deeper into some of the group's best-known projects. You can read the interview below.

Subsolanus | LIGA, Espacio para arquitectura, Mexico City, 2016. Photo © Luis GallardoHeadquarters for a Block Factory | Avaré, 2016. Photo © Rafaela NettoHouse s/d nº01 | Avaré, 2016. Photo © Pedro KokLastro - process of assembly | Deslocal Exhibition, Olhão Barra Funda, 2019. Photo © Marina Lima+ 16

"The Section Is Where the Exterior and the Interior Comes Together": An Interview With Neri&Hu

During the latest Design Indaba Festival, we have the chance to interview Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, from Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, a Shanghai-based inter-disciplinary architectural design practice, about their work and way of thinking about architecture.

10 ArchDaily Interviews Reflecting on the Future of Architecture

In order to inspire our audience, generate critical debates, and develop ideas, ArchDaily has been continuously questioning architects about the future of architecture. To define emerging trends that will shape the upcoming cities, examining “What will be the future of architecture?” became an essential inquiry. More relevant during these ever-changing moments, discover 10 interviews from ArchDaily’s archived YouTube playlists that will highlight diverse visions from 10 different pioneers of the architecture field.

"Practices Must Remain Agile": Slack's Evelyn Lee on the Future of Working Together

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how we work together. From telecommuting to virtual programming, architects and designers are rethinking traditional office structures to reimagine collaboration around the world. For architect Evelyn Lee, her work as the first Senior Experience Designer at Slack Technologies centers on building better workplace experiences. In a year defined by remote work, she's exploring what culture and community mean today.

Slack Headquarters. Image © Garrett Rowland and Amy YoungPractice Innovation LabPractice Innovation LabSlack Headquarters. Image © Garrett Rowland and Amy Young+ 14

“Our Architecture is for People”: In Conversation with Ralph Johnson of Perkins + Will

Ralph Johnson (b. 1948) is a global design director at Chicago-based Perkins and Will. The architect joined the company in 1977 and has been heading its design ideology since 1985. Johnson is the architect behind the firm’s most iconic buildings, including Rush University Transformation Project (2012), O’Hare International Airport (1993), and Boeing International Headquarters (1990) – all in Chicago, the United States Coast Guard Headquarters (2015) in Washington DC, Tinkham Veale University Center at the Case Western Reserve University (2015) in Cleveland, and Shanghai Natural History Museum (2015). The architect’s monographs have been published regularly since mid-1990s under his own name. He has been a visiting critic at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, his alma mater, from which he received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1971. He acquired his Master of Architecture from Harvard’s GSD in 1973.

Rush University Medical Center. Image © James SteinkampRush University Medical Center. Image © James SteinkampTinkham Veale University Center at Case Western. Image © James SteinkampNorthwestern University, Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Fieldhouse and Mark and Kimbra Walter Athletics Center. Image © James Steinkamp+ 22

“In The 1990s, We All Became Free”: In Conversation with Jiakun Liu of Jiakun Architects

Jiakun Liu was born in 1956 in Chengdu, China. Architecture was not his first choice to pursue at school, as he originally wanted to be an artist. He heard that architecture had something to do with drawing, so he applied to Chongqing Institute of Architecture and Engineering, not fully understanding what his role as an architect would be. After his graduation in 1982, Liu worked at the Chengdu Architectural Design Academy for two years, the experience he did not enjoy. So, he set out on a self-searching journey that lasted for over a decade, spending time in Tibet and Xinjiang in West China where he practiced meditation, painting, and writing, producing several works of fiction, while officially working at the Literature Academy as a writer. 

Luyeyuan Stone Sculpture Art Museum. Image © Jiakun ArchitectsLuyeyuan Stone Sculpture Art Museum. Image © Jiakun ArchitectsNovartis Shanghai Campus - Block C6. Image © Arch-ExistWest Village. Image © Chin Hyosook+ 72

Radical Repair: Log 48 in Conversation with Mabel O. Wilson

“The center of architecture is shifting and cannot hold,” writes guest editor Bryony Roberts in Log 48: Expanding Modes of Practice. This moment of change, in which issues of inequity and intersectionality are coming to the fore, represents “an invitation to think differently, a chance to reask the questions that haunted the 20th century.” To that end, Roberts conducted a series of interviews with experimental architects exploring new forms of practice, including this conversation with Mabel O. Wilson.

Mabel O. Wilson is a scholar and designer who has become a leading voice in discussions on space, politics, and memory in black America. She is the Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, as well as a professor in African American and African Diasporic Studies and the associate director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies. Her books include Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums. Her interdisciplinary practice Studio & is part of the architectural team that designed the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. She is also a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA), a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide. We talked at an outdoor cafe near Columbia on one of the last warm days in fall 2019.

Clément Blanchet: “The Source of Knowledge is in the Past"

We visited Clément Blanchet in his Paris studio, located in Villa Seurat, a small Parisian street flanked by modernist buildings. Inside a beautiful loft by Maillard et Ducamp, the team of Clément Blanchet Architecture was working hard on a master plan in China.

After going through diverse education programs, that included the AA in London, the Chulalongkorn Mahawitthayalai Architectural School in Bangkok, and the University of Illinois in Chicago, Clément started his career at OMA, “a long therapy [...] to discover who I was”. During his career at OMA, he became the director of OMA France, participating in projects such as the Caen Library, the Parc des Expositions in Toulouse, the Lab City CentraleSupélec, among others.

The practice is structured as a laboratory, researching, informing and generating architecture and urbanism in all its forms and sizes. From a series of carefully designed interiors for restaurants, playing with a diverse palette of materials, to large scale multifunctional buildings and master plans, adapting to the fast-changing needs of society. 

“We Want to Build Our Own Utopia”: In Conversation with Dimitri Shapakidze of Laboratory of Architecture #3

Founded in 2006, by three partners – Dimitri Shapakidze, Irakli Abashidze, and Otar Nemsadze in Tbilisi, Georgia, Laboratory of Architecture #3 is known for such enigmatic projects as the Grove Design Hotel (2017), Mediatheque (2017), both in Tbilisi, and Visitor Center for Architectural Miniatures Park (2016) in Shekvetili, Georgia. Nemsadze left the partnership in 2011, to pursue his studies in the Netherlands to advance his independent career. In 2018, he co-founded Tbilisi Architecture Biannual and is currently undertaking his PhD at Tbilisi State University. The practice attracted attention from the very beginning. The partners’ first project was a private villa for a local entrepreneur and their hotel on Leselidze Street in Tbilisi was a result of a competition that they won in their inaugural year. After just six years since its inception, Laboratory of Architecture #3 was named the 2012 Best Architect of the year in Georgia. The current two partners, Shapakidze (b. 1983, Tbilisi) and Abashidze (b. 1984, Tbilisi) know each other since their childhood. They were neighbors and then studied at the Georgian Technical University in Tbilisi one year apart. They both worked for local architects while studying at the university and started their office right after graduation. The following interview with Dimitri Shapakidze took place over lunch at the Grove Design Hotel.

Mediatheque. Image Courtesy of Laboratory of Architecture #3Visitor Center for Architectural Miniatures Park. Image Courtesy of Laboratory of Architecture #3Contemporary Art Center. Image Courtesy of Laboratory of Architecture #3Grove Design Hotel. Image Courtesy of Laboratory of Architecture #3+ 25

“I See My Work as Autobiographical”: In Conversation with Li Hua of TAO

Architect Li Hua was born in 1972 in China. He studied architecture at China’s leading school, Tsinghua University, from which he received his bachelor’s (1994) and master’s (1997) degrees. He continued his studies at Yale University, graduating with his second Master of Architecture in 1999. Hua then stayed in the US, practicing in New York at Herbert Beckhard Frank Richlan & Associates. The firm’s founders used to be partners at Marcel Breuer office before starting their own practice in the early 1980s. This experience introduced Hua to dealing with masonry and precast concrete, while working on cultural and educational projects in the New York area. Returning to Beijing in 2003, Hua established Universal Architecture Studio (UAS) with his former classmate at Tsinghua. Parallel to that, he started his teaching career – first at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, CAFA and then at his Alma Mater. In 2009, Hua left the partnership and established his own practice, Trace Architecture Office, TAO. His studio currently numbers about twenty architects. TAO’s most prominent built projects include Huandao Middle School in Hainan province (2018), Xinzhai Coffee Manor in Yunnan (2018), Wuyishan Bamboo Raft Factory in Fujian (2013), and Museum of Handcraft Paper in Yunnan (2010). The architect won many prestigious honors and was shortlisted for the 2013 Aga Kahn Award. The following interview was conducted at the architect’s office in Caochangdi Village, a thriving arts and culture hub on the outskirts of Beijing.

© Chen Hao. Xinzhai Coffee Manor© Su Shengliang. Xinzhai Coffee Manor© Schran Images. Huandao Middle School© Chen Hao. Xinzhai Coffee Manor+ 41

Liam Young on Artificial Intelligence in Architecture: ArchDaily Interviews

Liam Young was once described by the BBC as "the man designing our futures". The Australian-born architect and director has carved a vibrant path through architectural discourse, standing at the intersection of design, technology, and media. A self-described "speculative architect", Young is the co-founder of thinktank Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, using vivid imagery and films to spark conversations about the future of the built environment, and the relationships between humans and machines, bits and atoms, artificial and natural. He also co-runs the Unknown Fields Division, a nomadic research studio that travels the world in search of landscapes that speak to his focus on global flows of materials, technologies, and ideas.