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Interviews: The Latest Architecture and News

AD Interviews: Leong Leong, designers of US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale

01:00 - 5 August, 2014

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.

Campos Leckie Studio: Adapting Materials Across Contexts

00:00 - 2 July, 2014
Campos Leckie Studio: Adapting Materials Across Contexts, Vancouver, BC Based Architects Campos Lecki - The Zacatitos 03 House. Image © John Sinal
Vancouver, BC Based Architects Campos Lecki - The Zacatitos 03 House. Image © John Sinal

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. 

Zacatitos 02. Image © John Sinal Zacatitos 03. Image © John Sinal Zacatitos 04. Image © John Sinal © John Sinal + 17

Strelka Institute Compiles 41 Interviews on the Future of Urbanism

00:00 - 29 April, 2014
Strelka Institute Compiles 41 Interviews on the Future of Urbanism, Courtesy of Strelka Institute
Courtesy of Strelka Institute

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.

"Architects I Met": Interviewing Architects Around the Globe

00:00 - 22 March, 2014
"Architects I Met": Interviewing Architects Around the Globe, Cover: San Francisco City Book. Image Courtesy of Architects I Met
Cover: San Francisco City Book. Image Courtesy of Architects I Met

We're architects. We travel the world to meet the women and men who build our world.

Behind the Magic of Media Installations

00:00 - 6 February, 2014
Behind the Magic of Media Installations, At LAX, it was important to create "a positive experience after the stress of the departure experience," says Melissa Weigel. Image Courtesy of Moment Factory
At LAX, it was important to create "a positive experience after the stress of the departure experience," says Melissa Weigel. Image Courtesy of Moment Factory

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.

THIS WAS OUR UTOPIANISM! : An Interview with Peter Cook

01:00 - 31 January, 2014
THIS WAS OUR UTOPIANISM! : An Interview with Peter Cook, Plug-In City. Image © Peter Cook
Plug-In City. Image © Peter Cook

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. 

Norman Foster on Meeting Niemeyer

00:00 - 13 January, 2014
Norman Foster on Meeting Niemeyer, Oscar Niemeyer and Lord Norman Foster in 2011. "He was in wonderful spirits—charming and, notwithstanding his 104 years, his youthful energy and creativity were inspirational.". Image © Foster + Partners
Oscar Niemeyer and Lord Norman Foster in 2011. "He was in wonderful spirits—charming and, notwithstanding his 104 years, his youthful energy and creativity were inspirational.". Image © Foster + Partners

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

Denise Scott Brown: A Must-Read Interview

00:00 - 8 January, 2014
Denise Scott Brown: A Must-Read Interview, Denise Scott Brown outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Image © Frank Hanswijk
Denise Scott Brown outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Image © Frank Hanswijk

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.

VIDEO Interview: Chris Baribeau of Modus Studio

00:00 - 9 November, 2013

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.

Honoring Architecture's Digital Pioneers

09:30 - 20 September, 2013
Honoring Architecture's Digital Pioneers, A Hoberman arch at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Chuck Hoberman is one of the architects highlighted in the ongoing "Archaeology of the Digital". Image © Wikimedia Commons
A Hoberman arch at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Chuck Hoberman is one of the architects highlighted in the ongoing "Archaeology of the Digital". Image © Wikimedia Commons

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.

Interview with Alain de Botton, Author of "The Architecture of Happiness"

00:00 - 8 September, 2013
Interview with Alain de Botton, Author of "The Architecture of Happiness",  Dune House / JVA. One of the "Living Architecture" Homes. Image © Nils Petter Dale
Dune House / JVA. One of the "Living Architecture" Homes. Image © Nils Petter Dale

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.

Richard J Williams Talks Modernism & Sex

00:00 - 23 August, 2013
Richard J Williams Talks Modernism & Sex, © Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre
© Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

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.

Uncube Interviews Charles Correa

00:00 - 13 July, 2013
Uncube Interviews Charles Correa, Gandhi Ashram © Charles Correa Associates
Gandhi Ashram © Charles Correa Associates

Charles Correa, considered 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.

AD Interviews: LOT-EK

01:00 - 3 July, 2013

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.

Video: The Obsolescence of a Building, an Interview with Álvaro Siza

00:00 - 12 June, 2013

In this interview by Hugo Oliveira, Álvaro Siza presents his ideas on the link between obsolescence and quality in architecture, and the role that a design's flexibility plays in this relationship. He argues that the convent is perhaps the best example of a typology which is both fit for purpose and very flexible, allowing myriad other uses when its lifespan as a convent has ended. He also laments the current tendency to design a building for a very short period of time - intended to last only as long as it is needed for its original function. He links this tendency back to the Futurists of the early 20th century, where the idea was that "each generation makes its own environment which is later destroyed", an idea he dismisses since "it also allows you to build badly because it only needs to last twenty years".

Charles Correa in Conversation with RIBA President Angela Brady

00:00 - 25 May, 2013

After generously donating an archive of over 6000 drawings and 150 projects, architect Charles Correa sat down with RIBA President Angela Brady to discuss his life and work as one of “India’s greatest architects.” The short interview touches on a wide range of topics, from the inspiration behind some of his greatest projects to advice for future architecture students.

“The thing about architecture is that you cannot teach it. You can learn it, but you cannot teach it. And a good school is a school which makes you passionate about architecture and that teaches you how to ask questions. [...] If you know how to ask the right questions, you will develop your own philosophy and your own visual vocabulary.”

Two Short Films Capture the Essence of Steven Holl Architects’ Sliced Porosity Block

00:00 - 20 February, 2013

Renzo Piano Talks Architecture and Discusses 'The Shard' with BBC News

00:00 - 18 February, 2013

BBC’s Sarah Montague interviews Renzo Piano, the mastermind behind London’s most controversial and newest skyscraper: The Shard. Prior to the interview, Montague spotted Piano blending into the crowd during the opening of the 310-meter skyscraper “spying” on the onlookers. When asked about this moment, Piano revealed the great advice he received from the prominent Italian film director Roberto Rossellini upon the completion of the Pompidou Center in Paris: “You do not look at the building, you look at the people looking at the building.” It was during this moment that Piano observed “surprise” and “wonder, but not fear” amongst the onlookers - a reaction he seemed to be content with.

Despite Piano’s attempt to refrain from controversy, it is hard to avoid when your design intends to celebrate a “shift in society.” Change tends to stir mixed emotions and spark debate. However, being part of the “human adventure” as an architect is what Piano finds most rewarding. He states: “You don’t change the world as an architect, but you celebrate the change of the world.”