Mexican architect Michel Rojkind has been named the senior vice president of architecture at WeWork. A native of Mexico City, Rojkind founded the Rojkind Arquitectos office in 2002 focusing on design, tactical and experiential innovation, maintaining an architectural vision that will shape integral experiences, connecting the complexities of each project to a deeper level to positively impact society and the environment. This vision was what led him to connect perfectly with the WeWork approach.
Michel Rojkind: The Latest Architecture and News
"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.
“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. Among his most representative built works are Foro Boca for the Boca del Rio Philharmonic Orchestra in Veracruz, a newly expanded film complex Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City, a pair of factory additions for the Nestlé Company in Queretaro, and the Nestlé Chocolate Museum in Toluca, all in Mexico. We spoke about how his architecture engages with people, why architects should assume roles that extend beyond architecture, and the importance of generosity and not worrying about designing everything 100%.
The following excerpt from my interview with Rojkind completes a series of conversations that I conducted in Mexico City while preparing my exhibition “Something Other than a Narrative” from the Architects’ Voices and Visions series at Facultad de Arquitectura Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM.
Sou Fujimoto, Michel Rojkind, Jeanne Gang, Assemble, MINI Living, Airbnb, WeWork/WeLive and OMA’s Reinier de Graaf are among the confirmed speakers at reSITE 2018 ACCOMMODATE, one of Europe’s top annual international forums showcasing top solutions for cities and attended by the region’s top design, business, and civic leaders, happening in Prague.
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. An article released this week by Surface Magazine offers an extensive profile of Rojkind, from his childhood, through his days as a drummer, to the difficulties he experienced on his architectural work--including the disastrous opening of Mexico City's Cineteca Nacional in 2014. Read some excerpts from Surface Magazine's article after the break.
The official inauguration for Foro Boca by Rojkind Arquitectos was held in Veracruz, México, gathering members of the local community as well as special guest Bjarke Ingels for a concert by renowned violinist Joshua Bell and the city's Philarmonic Orchestra.
On a recent trip abroad, architect and urban planner José Castillo was struck by a conversation with Mexico’s tourism attaché in Asia. Mexican tourism, the attaché remarked, has changed; it was the ancient pyramids and sandy beaches of the country that once drew visitors to it. Today however, architecture and design—and food—prevail.
The issue of food may be of little wonder. Mexican cuisine has indeed become more popular than ever in both the high and low ends of the culinary spectrum, and food in general is not only what one eats for dinner but also a hobby and an obsessive conversation topic. Yet for local design to come to the same level of acclaim and reputation is, at any rate, quite astonishing. It may be, though, that food and architecture are not so far apart. These are both highly creative and productive professions, as well as ones with a rich history, a theory, and many layers of tradition.
While in Mexico City, we had the chance to visit Michel Rojkind 's office in La Condesa to interview him and jam on his recording studio hidden in the architecture workshop. We have been big fans of Michel's work, the result of constant investigation and iteration pushed by by the collaborative character of his studio and multiplied by Michel's passion for architecture.