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Interview: The Latest Architecture and News

Why the EU Membership is Worth it According to Rem Koolhaas and Stephan Petermann

06:10 - 25 May, 2019

The EU costs you the same as Netflix - is it worth it? Rem Koolhaas thinks so.

João Luís Carrilho da Graça and the Power of Curiosity in Architecture

07:00 - 24 May, 2019
João Luís Carrilho da Graça and the Power of Curiosity in Architecture, © Luca Chiaudano
© Luca Chiaudano

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

The goal of the series is to research these successful firms and attempt to understand their methods and approaches. By hopefully gaining a clearer picture of what it means to be an architect in the 21st century, the videos can also serve as inspiration for the next generation of up-and-coming architects and students as they enter the field.

João Luís Carrilho da Graça is a Portuguese architect, lecturer, and founder of Carrilho da Graça Arquitectos. In addition to his award-winning projects, the architect has taught at the Technical University of Lisbon, guest-lectured at the Autonomous University of Lisbon and University of Évora, and has been invited to several universities, seminars and conferences all over the world. His work mostly focuses on public projects, creating uniquely-designed spaces for the community.

Juan Herreros on His Thriving Career in Architecture and Academia

05:00 - 17 May, 2019
Juan Herreros on His Thriving Career in Architecture and Academia, Courtesy of Juan Herreros
Courtesy of Juan Herreros

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

The goal of the series is to research these successful firms and attempt to understand their methods and approaches. By hopefully gaining a clearer picture of what it means to be an architect in the 21st century, the videos can also serve as inspiration for the next generation of up-and-coming architects and students as they enter the field.

Juan Herreros is an acclaimed Spanish architect with multiple award-winning projects to date. In addition to his impressive creations in the construction field, he has strived to redefine the practice of architecture by teaching at the School of Architecture in Madrid and at the GSAPP Columbia University in New York. His collaborative office, Studio Herreros, is an award-winning firm with projects built all over the world, ranging between residential and public spaces. These projects vary between small-scale, "immediate" projects, and internationally-commissioned structures and building competitions, allowing the architect to be one of the most influential Spanish architects practicing today.

Freek Persyn and the Power of Adaptation

07:00 - 10 May, 2019
Freek Persyn and the Power of Adaptation, Résidence Palaiseau, 51N4E. Image © Filip Dujardin
Résidence Palaiseau, 51N4E. Image © Filip Dujardin

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

The Story Behind Odile Decq’s Adventurous Architecture

05:30 - 3 May, 2019
The Story Behind Odile Decq’s Adventurous Architecture, FUTURE: Studio Odile Decq - TWIST Building. Image © Studio Odile Decq
FUTURE: Studio Odile Decq - TWIST Building. Image © Studio Odile Decq

Past, Present, Future is an interview project by Itinerant Office, asking acclaimed architects to share their perspectives on the constantly evolving world of architecture. Each interview is split into three video segments: Past, Present, and Future, in which interviewees discuss their thoughts and experiences of architecture through each of those lenses. The first episode of the project featured 11 architects from Italy and the Netherlands and Episode II is comprised of interviews with 13 architects from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.

Sharon Zukin on Privately Managed Public Spaces, Gentrification and Urban Authenticity

08:00 - 27 April, 2019
Sharon Zukin on Privately Managed Public Spaces, Gentrification and Urban Authenticity, © The Midnight Charette
© The Midnight Charette

The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted and long-format conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and more personal discussions. Honesty and humor are used to cover a wide array of subjects: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or simply explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is available for free on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and all other podcast directories.

On this episode of The Midnight Charette Podcast, Sharon Zukin discusses the economic and social impact the technology industry has had on cities around the world, the relationship between gentrification and the commodification of modern life, building improvement districts and the increasing securitization of public spaces, and the desire to live in authentic neighborhoods.

“We Want to Enjoy the Work, Enjoy the Fight”: In Conversation with Qing Fei and Frank Fu of Renhe Architecture

10:00 - 21 April, 2019
“We Want to Enjoy the Work, Enjoy the Fight”: In Conversation with Qing Fei and Frank Fu of Renhe Architecture, Quake Projects, Minle Houses, Mianzh. Image © Renhe Architecture
Quake Projects, Minle Houses, Mianzh. Image © Renhe Architecture

Last year I was invited to teach design studio for the first time by Tsinghua University in Beijing, home to the top architecture school in China and one of the strongest in the world, according to the latest international ratings. There, I met husband-and-wife teaching practitioners Qing Fei and Frank Fu. As soon as I witnessed their unorthodox way of teaching by challenging students with rigorous questioning, I wanted to interview them. Their innovative approach did not fit my impression of how architecture is tackled in China. Fei and Fu are Tsinghua graduates; they moved to America in the late 1980s where they studied, worked, and researched both art and architecture for almost two decades.

“Intuition Must Be Grounded to The Site and Context”: In Conversation with Oscar Ko of Interval Architects 

06:00 - 14 April, 2019
“Intuition Must Be Grounded to The Site and Context”: In Conversation with Oscar Ko of Interval Architects , Tower of Bricks. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko
Tower of Bricks. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko

Oscar Ko was born in Harbin, China and moved with his parents to Hong Kong at the age of five. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Michigan and Master’s from Columbia University in 2006. After spending seven years in America, he relocated to Europe where his original plan was to stay for four-five years or longer but after talking to older friends practicing in China he quickly realized that there are more opportunities in his native China. After working for less than two years for several prestigious firms – Josep Lluis Mateo Architects in Barcelona, David Chipperfield Architects in Berlin, and Space Group Architects in Oslo, Norway – he returned to China where he worked at two leading Beijing-based practices: Studio Zhu-Pei and Chiasmus Partners for several years.

Raffles Kindergarten. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko Tower of Bricks. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko Raffles Kindergarten. Image Courtesy of Oscar Ko One Half Stadium + 32

Anne Taylor on How Design Education Can Transform Our Schools

12:00 - 7 April, 2019
Anne Taylor on How Design Education Can Transform Our Schools, © School Zone Institute
© School Zone Institute

This article was originally published on CommonEdge as "How Design Education Can Transform Our Schools".

“Architecture Should be Able to Connect the Past and the Future”: In Conversation with Xu Tiantian

09:00 - 31 March, 2019
“Architecture Should be Able to Connect the Past and the Future”: In Conversation with Xu Tiantian, Bamboo Theatre. Image © Wang Ziling
Bamboo Theatre. Image © Wang Ziling

It is the end of May 2016, Alejandro Aravena’s “Reporting from the Front” Biennale is about to kick off the next day and I just landed at Venice airport. Vaporetto waterbuses are no longer running at this late hour, so I am heading for a water taxi, thinking that it will cost me a bundle to get to the city. But maybe not! I see a lonely figure, “Are you going to Venice? Would you like to share a taxi?” A young Chinese woman agrees without hesitation. As soon as the boat leaves I keep pressing my luck, “Are you an architect, by any chance?” Yes! The next hour flew unnoticed, as we discussed our discipline and common friends. Two years passed, and I am back to Venice Biennale. At the opening of the Chinese Pavilion, I am hopping from conversation to conversation until I am introduced to Xu Tiantian, “China’s most promising female architect.” We looked at each other and said in unison, “The taxi girl/guy!” We finally exchanged contacts and on my next trip to Beijing we met at Xu’s DnA Design and Architecture studio. What follows, after a brief introduction, is an excerpt from that conversation.

Pine Pavilion. Image © Wang Ziling Brown Sugar Factory. Image © Wang Ziling Hakka Indenture Museum. Image © Wang Ziling Tea House. Image © Wang Ziling + 50

“Form-Generating is Similar to Music – You Try to Compose Music and Suddenly the Melody Comes”: In Conversation with Kevin Roche

07:00 - 4 March, 2019
“Form-Generating is Similar to Music – You Try to Compose Music and Suddenly the Melody Comes”: In Conversation with Kevin Roche, National Conference Center, Dublin, Ireland, 2010 © Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates
National Conference Center, Dublin, Ireland, 2010 © Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

American architect Kevin Roche passed away this past Friday, March 1 at the age of 96. He was born in 1922 in Dublin, Ireland, educated at the University College Dublin (1945) and Illinois Institute of Technology (1948). In 1966, he formed Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates (KRJDA). He has designed more than 200 buildings, including renovation to the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012), National Conference Centre in Dublin (2010), Lafayett Tower in Washington DC (2009), J.P. Morgan Headquarters in Manhattan (1992), Central Park Zoo in Manhattan (1988), The Knights of Columbus Building Headquarters in New Haven (1969), The Ford Foundation in Manhattan (1968), and Oakland Museum of California (1966). In 1982 he became the fourth Pritzker Prize winner and in 1993 was awarded the AIA Gold Medal. The following excerpt is from our 2011 interview at the architect’s office in Hamden, Connecticut.

“I Don’t Have Any Competitors Because My Projects Are Unique”: In Conversation with Hua Zhang

07:00 - 27 February, 2019
“I Don’t Have Any Competitors Because My Projects Are Unique”: In Conversation with Hua Zhang, Yu Qingcheng Gallery, Tianjin, China. ImageCourtesy of Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tianjin University
Yu Qingcheng Gallery, Tianjin, China. ImageCourtesy of Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tianjin University

The following excerpt from my recent interview with Tianjin-based architect Zhang Hua continues an ongoing series of interviews that I’ve been conducting during my frequent trips to China. Zhang Hua is leading his design studio, Zhanghua Architects, which is a part of Tianjin University Research Institute. Professor Zhang Hua’s work follows his uncompromising form-generating theory, which is based on the desire to capture the progression of transformational processes. In his many built projects, the architect examines and expresses such formal transformations as turning from something basic to complex or from monolith to disperse. The focus is on the state of transformation itself, how a form is changing and morphing from one state to another. We spoke with Zhang Hua through an interpreter at the institute, with half a dozen young architects and researchers from his studio, seated all around and taking notes.

Yu Qingcheng Gallery, Tianjin, China. ImageCourtesy of Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tianjin University Geological Museum Tianjin, China / Zhang Hua. ImageCourtesy of Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tianjin University Geological Museum Tianjin, China / Zhang Hua. ImageCourtesy of Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tianjin University Millet Vinegar Museum / Zhang Hua. ImageCourtesy of Zhang Hua + 24

What Urbanism Needs to Learn from Dubai

07:00 - 11 February, 2019
What Urbanism Needs to Learn from Dubai , Photo by Flickr user Lars Plougmann
Photo by Flickr user Lars Plougmann

In the past three decades, Dubai has grown from a dusty desert town to a strategic hub for international business and tourism. As a result, several cities in the developing world have been competing to outdo one another in the race to replicate this development model—an urbanism largely built around the automobile, luxury villas, gleaming skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and ambitious “smart” cities, designed and built from scratch. Across Africa, these new developments go by different names: Eko Atlantic City Nigeria, Vision City in Rwanda, Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius; Konza Technology City in Kenya; Safari City in Tanzania; Le Cite du Fleuve in DR Congo, and several others. All are mimicries of Dubai.

Zhang Ke of ZAO/standardarchitecture: "Is a New Revolution Possible Today?"

07:00 - 31 January, 2019
Zhang Ke of ZAO/standardarchitecture: "Is a New Revolution Possible Today?", Niyang River Visitor Centre / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture, Chen Su
Niyang River Visitor Centre / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture, Chen Su

Beijing-based architect Zhang Ke was educated first at China’s leading school, Tsinghua University, going on to later graduate from Harvard’s GSD in 1998. The former equipped him with technical know-how, while the latter encouraged him to question the essential elements of the profession, such as why we build. After working for three years in Boston and New York, Ke returned to Beijing to open his practice in 2001.

Niang'ou Boat Terminal / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture, Wang Ziling Micro Yuan'er Children's Library and Art Centre / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture, Wang Ziling Yarluntzangbu Boat Terminal / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture, Chen Su Novartis Shanghai Campus Building / ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture, Su Shengliang + 37

"We Wanted a Gradient of Galleries": WORKac Explain their Design for the Beirut Museum of Art

07:00 - 29 January, 2019
"We Wanted a Gradient of Galleries": WORKac Explain their Design for the Beirut Museum of Art, BeMA / WORKac. Image Courtesy of WORKac
BeMA / WORKac. Image Courtesy of WORKac

What is architecture if it does not understand its context?  Architecture is shaped and curated by the area it lives in, showcasing the culture it embodies. The more of this identity it embodies, the more meaningful (and sometimes prominent) it becomes. 

December of 2018 was a month of prosperity for Lebanese architecture: Hashim Sarkis was announced curator of the 2020 Venice Biennale and Lebanese-born Amale Andraos and partner Dan Wood of WORKac were selected to build the Beirut Museum of Art. The museum, a dynamic assembly of contoured geometries (not entirely unlike their work at Miami's Museum Garage) located in the heart of Beirut City, will house permanent and temporary exhibitions across 12,000 square meters. WORKac's winning scheme was chosen for its ability to “reveal the cultural possibilities of integrating art, architecture, and landscape within a dense urban setting and as a means to re-imagine how we can live, learn and share together.”

"I Identify Forms with Energy": Li Xiaodong of Li Xiaodong Atelier

07:00 - 25 January, 2019
"I Identify Forms with Energy": Li Xiaodong of Li Xiaodong Atelier, LiYuan Library / Li Xiaodong Atelier. Image
LiYuan Library / Li Xiaodong Atelier. Image

One of the immediate impressions that I formed of the Beijing-based architect and Tsinghua University Professor Li Xiaodong (b. 1963) is his reassuring self-confidence. Following our interview, Professor Li asked me a question of his own - would I like to teach at his school? “I never taught in my life,” I replied. He quickly countered, “I know. You can teach. Yes or no?” If I have learned anything about life, it is that when opportunities come you should grab them first and think later. "If he is so confident in me, why shouldn’t I trust him?” I reasoned.

LiYuan Library / Li Xiaodong Atelier. Image School Bridge / Li Xiaodong Atelier. Image New Building of School of Architecture / Li Xiaodong Atelier. Image New Building of School of Architecture / Li Xiaodong Atelier. Image + 24

"Architecture Will Change Completely in the Next Ten Years": Fran Silvestre of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

07:00 - 7 January, 2019
"Architecture Will Change Completely in the Next Ten Years": Fran Silvestre of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, House on the Cliff / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Diego Opazo
House on the Cliff / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Diego Opazo

Spanish architect Fran Silvestre is well known for his portfolio of nuanced, clean, and decidedly modern works. Each project is as stunning as the next, the type of home that shows up in Bond films and populates the Pinterest boards of aspiring homeowners.

 Hofmann House / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG  Hofmann House / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG Breeze House / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Diego Opazo Office Building 1905 / Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Image © Diego Opazo + 18

Alejandro Aravena Shares the Foundational Philosophies at the Core of His Socially Conscious Practice

04:00 - 19 November, 2018

Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena shares the fundamentals of his design philosophy in a documented interview titled “To Design is to Prefer.” The Pritzker Prize winner founded his practice in 2001, committed to exploring socially conscious design practices. His firm, Elemental, first gained international recognition for its work creating social housing projects in Chile, but its portfolio continues to expand to include work from museums, universities, transportation, and urban infrastructure.

This video highlights the mental process behind Aravena’s personal practices and insights into Elemental’s unique approach to design. The interview begins discussing Aravena’s introduction to architecture as a teen and how architecture, a rather obscure phenomenon to the young Aravena, became his passion. Throughout the film, Aravena flips to the pages of his sketchbooks, illustrating the raw hand of the architect.