Saturday, June 14, 2008

54. Take a lesson from Gage Clemenceau

What is Architecture?

I like to think of architecture as a very precise discipline. Very different from design and very different from sculpture. At the very basic level you have to deal with developing something with an exterior and an interior. Sculpture does not have that problem. I think that is enabling for architects because it gives us something with a very specific disciplinary rigor that we are required to address. So a lot of our work focus on the relationship between the exterior and the interior and how to create openings between them. We use a lot of surface design technologies including Maya, and Alias studio. For instance Alias Studio is used for car design. Car design has a similar problem that architecture has. You never build one thing, you build something that is made of multiple pieces (that looks like one thing) and you need a way to get inside and outside of it.

What is the role of the architect in contemporary society?

In the past, you meet with a client, the client tells you their problems, you solve the problem and you give them a building.

Thats not the role of the architect anymore.

The architect has to come with a very high level of expertise in contemporary design culture, about contemporary technologies, about contemporary materials, and it is the role of the architect to push these boundaries in the service of new forms of interior and exterior research.

Architecture right now is as popular as it has ever been in the past. It was probably started by 911 and the amount of press that was given to architecture in the competition for the development of the World Trade Center.

That generated a lot of interest sin architecture. A lot of people know who Frank Gehry is and who Zaha Hadid is.

The one thing I worry about is that it is becoming more a culture of celebrities and less a culture of the work. There are a lot of interests in the personalities and not the work as much.

What is the role of Social Networking?

It is second only to design.

There should be classes on how to network in architecture school.
There is no training in architecture school that allows you to graduate and know how to go about meeting people and getting work.

There are plenty of classes that tell tell you how to write contracts, how to do billing, how to stamp drawings properly, and how to deal with legal architectural issues.

There are very few classes that tell you how the world works:
How do you go out and meet people?
Networking is by far the most important thing you can learn.
All of our work come in from people going out and talking to each other.
very very few clients just come in from off the street without knowing someone or having seen our work and talked to someone about something.

How important is innovation?

For us it is incredibly important.
Thats were we gravitate. What are the new tools out there?
what are the new software packages out there?
What are the new fabrication technologies out there?
How can they be useful for architecture?
How can we use them to develop new attitudes towards design and new attitudes towards space?

The first thing that we do when we get a resume is look for skills. Part of the responsibility of going to architecture school is being fluent in the most contemporary skills you can pick up. We get a lot of resumes and the first thing we do is flip through their portfolio and see where they are with their skill set. Everyone here though they came from different schools has a level of skill set that were looking for at the time they were hired and thats why they are here.

Competitions are one of the only way to get your self out there.
It's great for young architects to develop their signatures, and their architectural vocabularies. A lot if it is a gamble, It can also be seen as an investment if you get published

from ArchDaily: