Archinect - Design Manifestos 2022-08-08T09:59:06-04:00 Design Manifestos: Nader Tehrani of NADAAA Eli Laipson 2015-09-15T19:47:00-04:00 >2015-09-25T13:28:59-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Nader Tehrani is a Principal leading the Boston-based architecture and urban design firm&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>NADAAA</strong></a>. He is also the Dean of the Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and previously served as the Head of the SA+P Department at MIT. A recipient of multiple prestigious awards including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and the Harleston Parker Award, Tehrani has been directing intensive design research in projects spanning the globe for the past 25 years. Recently, he sat down with <strong>Modelo&nbsp;</strong>to reflect upon his personal journey in architecture, his approach to design and where he sees architecture heading in the future.</p><p><strong>On his path to becoming an architect</strong><br><em>A common question, and everyone has their Lego story. In my case, it was slightly different. It was a distinction between language and visuality. Growing up, as we went from country to country and culture to culture, what we lacked as kids was a common foundation. We didn&rsquo;t have one language: we had many. We didn&rsquo;t have on...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Volkan Alkanoglu of VA DESIGN Eli Laipson 2015-09-12T14:33:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Volkan Alkanoglu was educated in Germany and England and worked as a designer and project architect for Foster + Partners, Future Systems and Asymptote Architecture before establishing his own practice &lsquo;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>VA DESIGN</strong></a>&rsquo; which is now based in Boston. In 2006, Alkanoglu was nominated for the Young Architect of the Year Award in the UK, in recognition of exceptional contributions to the progress of architecture. He offers an explicit international background and has contributed to building and research in the field of architectural design and sustainable projects. Recently, Modelo had the opportunity to meet with Alkanoglu and learn more about his practice and approach to design.</p><p><strong>On becoming an architect</strong><br><em>I started out as a civil engineering student at the RWTH in Aachen, Germany when one of my friends studying architecture asked me to join him at an evening lecture at their department. I was mesmerized by the talk and what architecture could be. They started showing incredible images about det...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Jennifer Bonner of MALL Eli Laipson 2015-09-09T15:14:00-04:00 >2016-12-01T11:36:46-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Jennifer Bonner is an Assistant Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Director of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MALL</a>. Bonner was born in Alabama and attended Auburn University, where she received an AR Award for Emerging Architecture in 2005 for her undergraduate thesis project,&nbsp;<em>Cedar Pavilion.</em>She also attended Harvard University GSD where she was awarded the James Templeton Kelley Prize for her project&nbsp;<em>Assemblage of Twins. </em><strong>Modelo</strong><em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em>had the pleasure of meeting with Jennifer Bonner and learning more about her approach and philosophy on design.</p><p><strong>On becoming an architect</strong><br><em>Growing up in Alabama, I&rsquo;d probably never heard the word &ldquo;architecture&rdquo; before enrolling at Auburn University. The summer before declaring a major I visited my father in Las Vegas who was working at the casinos for Steve Wynn. Somehow I ended up with a copy of Learning from Las Vegas in one hand and course catalog from Auburn in the other hand. That fall, I entered into the department of architecture heavily influenced by a recen...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Eric Reinholdt of 30X40 Design Workshop Eli Laipson 2015-09-09T12:04:03-04:00 >2018-10-25T23:49:13-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Eric W. Reinholdt of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>30X40 Design Workshop</strong></a>&nbsp;in Maine graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Architecture from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. Since then, he has been practicing all across the Northeast. He brings a modern, regionalist design and his practice celebrates humble materials, subtle contrasts, and finely crafted details. Not only is Reinholdt a successful architect, but he also contributes to Houzz in a weekly series called &ldquo;Design Workshop.&rdquo; He has won awards including the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Best of Houzz 2015</a>&nbsp;for Design + Client Satisfaction and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Best of Houzz 2014</a> for Client Satisfaction. Last week <strong>Modelo&nbsp;</strong>had the opportunity to learn more about Reinholdt and understand his philosophies on design.</p><p><strong>On becoming an architect</strong><br><em>As a child I always enjoyed model trains, building scale models and drawing. I would buy plan books from the local bookstore and redesign the floor plans and elevations, I loved the rigor of technical drawing. As college neared, this naturally led t...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Chris Iwerks of Bertaux + Iwerks Architects Eli Laipson 2015-09-04T23:25:00-04:00 >2015-09-04T23:25:05-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Leonard Bertaux and Chris Iwerks co-founded&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Bertaux and Iwerks Architects</strong></a>, located in Boston&rsquo;s Leather District. The core of the practice focuses on Outcome-Driven design (ODD), which is a breakthrough methodology for re-structuring the design process around what&rsquo;s most critical to stakeholder success at occupancy. Iwerks has been recognized nationally and internationally for his works and has received the highest architectural achievement in Boston&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;the Harleston Parker Medal&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;for the &ldquo;most beautiful building in Boston.&rdquo; Last week, <strong>Modelo</strong>&nbsp;had the pleasure of meeting with Chris Iwerks and learning more about the firm&rsquo;s approach and philosophy on design.</p><p><strong>On becoming an architect</strong><br><em>My pathway into architecture started early. I grew up in LA, and in the summer transition following sixth grade I was notified by my future junior high school of the courses I would be required to take in the fall. One of those courses was entitled, &ldquo;Drafting.&rdquo; At this time the Vietnam War was in full swing a...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Brandon Clifford of Matter Design Eli Laipson 2015-09-02T15:52:00-04:00 >2015-09-05T10:38:07-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Matter Design</strong></a>&nbsp;is a research-driven design firm founded by Brandon Clifford and Wes McGee in 2008. The founders are based in Boston and Ann Arbor where they practice and teach at MIT and the University of Michigan. With a focus on the intersection of drawing and making, the firm&rsquo;s award-winning projects continually explore cutting-edge fabrication processes, materiality, and the integration of diverse environmental and structural systems. Last week, <strong>Modelo</strong>&nbsp;spent some time with Brandon Clifford to learn more about the firm&rsquo;s background and aspirations for the future.</p><p><strong>On becoming an architect</strong><br><em>It was early. When I was growing up I enjoyed analytical classes like math and science, but also enjoyed art, so the inclination was to go into architecture because it was somehow at that cross-section. Because of that, I went to Georgia Tech thinking that it would be very engineered-focused architecture, came to realize there&rsquo;s no real basis for that. Architecture is Architecture.</em></p><p><em>That&rsquo;s how I got s...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Aniket Shahane of Office of Architecture Eli Laipson 2015-08-31T12:20:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T08:29:22-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Modelo&nbsp;</strong>recently interviewed Aniket Shahane the founder and principal of Brooklyn-based firm&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Office of Architecture</strong></a>. Shahane splits time between leading his firm and teaching at Yale University&rsquo;s School of Architecture. Last week, he spoke to Modelo about starting the firm, his approach to teaching and the kinds of projects he aspires to create.</p><p><strong>On his start</strong><br><em>In college, I went to the University of Texas at Austin, and like a lot of people I just checked off a box and declared a major. I think I was a business major or something. You&rsquo;re 18 years old, I didn&rsquo;t know what I wanted to do then. Sometimes I even wonder what I want to do now (laughs). I always had an interest in architecture; I just didn&rsquo;t realize it was architecture. A friend of mine was actually in the school there, he suggested I take an elective Architecture and Society course. I had the option to switch over to architecture to try it out, and that was it.</em></p><p><em>I actually struggled through school quite a bit. It&rsquo;s not like I to...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Mette Aamodt & Andrew Plumb of Aamodt / Plumb Architects Eli Laipson 2015-08-28T13:49:00-04:00 >2015-08-28T13:49:44-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Last week <strong>Modelo</strong>&nbsp;visited the offices of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Aamodt / Plumb</strong></a>&nbsp;a Cambridge-based Architecture firm founded by partners, Mette Aamodt, AIA and Andrew Plumb, AIA. Mette and Andrew first met in graduate school at Harvard GSD. After they gained experience working at both boutique studios and large firms in New York and Boston, they decided to start their own firm in 2007. Nearly eight years later, the venture has matured into an award-winning firm focused on creating beautiful modern homes for a nationwide list of clientele. Despite their busy schedules, the founders took time to reflect on their approach to design and running a business as well as their aspirations for the future.</p><p><strong>On their projects<br>Mette</strong>:&nbsp;<em>We focus on modern homes and creative work spaces because those are the places where people spend the majority of their lives. Recently, we completed the Modern Texas Prefab house that is our new benchmark for a design and construction process that we think works really well. We&rsquo;ve tried a lot ...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Alfonso Medina of T38 Eli Laipson 2015-08-27T00:37:00-04:00 >2015-08-27T00:38:30-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Alfonso Medina is the award-winning founder of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>T38</strong></a>&nbsp;an architecture and development firm based in New York City and Tijuana, Mexico. At only 32 years old he has built up his firm over the past 10 years focusing on the intersections of residential housing, urban planning and community development. Medina recently spent some time with Modelo&nbsp;to reflect upon the last decade, the evolution of his approach to design and the future of architecture. Full interview below.</p><p><strong>On becoming an architect and starting a firm</strong><br><em>I&rsquo;m 32 right now but started 10 years ago this summer. I&rsquo;d been studying in Monterey, which is in the northern part of Mexico close to Texas where I was actually born. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona and it was amazing, really fun. That&rsquo;s where I really got to see what architecture really was about, because in Mexico, where I grew up, architecture was really related to construction and development, but in Europe I saw another side of architecture that I hadn&rsquo;t go...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Michael Szivos of SOFTlab Eli Laipson 2015-08-24T19:01:00-04:00 >2015-08-24T19:14:28-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src="">Recently, <strong>Modelo</strong>&nbsp;spent some time meeting with Michael Szivos the founder and principal of <strong>SOFTlab</strong>&nbsp;at his design studio in Manhattan. Szivos spoke about his firm&rsquo;s approach to design the issues he sees with design software and the future of his firm.</p><p><strong>On the beginnings of SOFTlab</strong><br><em>Well the short story is that I had just graduated from grad school at Columbia&rsquo;s GSAPP and like everyone else I needed to get a job. I had worked in the city before so right as I was getting all of my work together portfolio and resume, people I had worked with in the past just started calling about doing freelance work. So that summer I did a lot of freelance work. A lot of it was working with friends and other architects but some of it was also working with artists. One of the projects with an artist was basically helping them with any kind of digital content from helping them figure out how to fabricate their installations and sculptures to creating video. And one of those turned into a pretty large project ...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Stuart Narofsky of Narofsky Architecture Eli Laipson 2015-08-20T14:15:16-04:00 >2015-08-24T18:58:58-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>On a recent trip to New York, Modelo&nbsp;was able to meet with Stuart Narofsky, founder and principal of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Narofsky Architecture</strong></a>. Stuart has been been an architect since 1983 and has received numerous accolades from the AIA including a recent Lifetime Achievement Award and his firm was selected as best of Houzz in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Stuart spent some time speaking with us about his outlook on design and how his approach has evolved over the course of his career. Full interview below:</p><p><strong>On his decision to become an architect:</strong><br><em>Actually it was fate or maybe some organic pullings. I grew up in New York City, in Queens, and I had no idea what an architect was. In high school, I took a drafting course and really liked it. I started college in engineering. I was doing very well. I was a superb draftsman by that time, I was always good at number crunching. And it was fine! But then I took an elective course in architecture, like an &ldquo;Introduction to Architecture.&rdquo; I really bonded with my teacher and...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Eva Perez de Vega & Ian Gordon of e+i studio Eli Laipson 2015-08-20T12:22:00-04:00 >2015-08-24T19:12:03-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>On a recent trip to New York City, Modelo&nbsp;spent some time in the Manhattan office of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">e+i studio</a>&nbsp;with founders Eva Perez de Vega and Ian Gordon. While there they described their backgrounds, what brought them to New York, their dream projects and where they believe the future of architecture lies. Full interview below:</p><p><strong>On their beginnings:<br>Ian</strong>:&nbsp;<em>It&rsquo;s been a long history, actually. We grew up in Rome, where we met in high school. I thought I was going to be a skateboarder or a painter, and Eva knew early on she was going to be an architect. Then she went to Spain and I went to North Carolina. We stayed in touch through all that, and eventually converged in Spain. She was still in school, so I traveled to Spain and spent some years freelancing there and learning Spanish. We then moved to New York with a home base here. I had experience in two chunks: one was corporate, and the other was design-focused. In between was grad school at Columbia University.</em></p><p><strong>Eva</strong>:&nbsp;<em>We decided to come to New York w...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Cristina Parreño Architecture Cristina Parreño Alonso Eli Laipson 2015-08-18T20:07:00-04:00 >2015-08-24T19:15:28-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>The 2015 Design Biennial Boston was unveiled July 16th in the Rose Kennedy Greenway space. The Biennial focuses on exhibiting the inspiring work of emerging architects and designers building their practices in Massachusetts. With the program a month in, Modelo&nbsp;was able to catch up with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Cristina Parre&ntilde;o Alonso</strong></a>&nbsp;one of the four talented architects whose work is on display. Full interview below:</p><p><strong>On her voice as a designer:</strong><br><em>My voice as an architect is a combination of being trained in Madrid, having my first professional experience in London and later moving to United States. The Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid was a big school and one would get exposed to many different voices. Also, although from a previous generations, there were certain architects whose work was very present, and I still believe relevant. People like the Sa&eacute;nz de Oiza of the BBVA, the Miguel Fisac of the Centro de Estudios Hidrograficos or the Alejandro de la Sota of the School Maravillas were very i...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Matthew Trzebiatowski of blank studio design + architecture Eli Laipson 2015-08-17T18:31:00-04:00 >2015-08-17T18:31:38-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Last week, Modelo&nbsp;spoke with the founder of<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">blank studio design + architecture</a>&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;Matthew Trzebiatowski. The firm, founded in 2006 is presently made up by four individuals and is based in Phoenix, Arizona. As a practicing architect, Matthew&rsquo;s time is primarily focused on his business, but he also has the great pleasure of being a professor at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin as well as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Arizona.</p><p><strong>On starting his firm:</strong><br><em>I opted to start my firm when I did because I discovered an opportunity to refine my design sensibilities through my own personal projects, through which I could do more fully than with others&rsquo; work, and to contribute to the wider professional dialog. I worked for a number of years for several boutique offices and consciously avoided larger firms because I just understood clearly about myself that&rsquo;s never what I was really about. Working in those studios prepared me for my path forward. I worked for people I r...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Susannah Drake of DLANDstudio Eli Laipson 2015-08-17T12:03:34-04:00 >2015-08-17T12:03:34-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Susannah Drake is the founder and principal architect of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">DLANDstudio</a>. This fall marks her 20th anniversary since graduating from Harvard GSD with both architecture and landscape architecture degrees. She has been doing architecture and landscape architecture since 1988. Last week&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Modelo</a>spent some time with her at DLANDstudio&rsquo;s office in Brooklyn, New York.</p><p><strong>On starting her firm:</strong><br><em>I founded DLANDstudio in 2005. I&rsquo;m both an architect and a landscape architect. When I got out school with both degrees people didn&rsquo;t know what to do with me. I would go to the architecture firms and they would say, &ldquo;well what do you want to be? Do you want to be an architect or a landscape architect?&rdquo; And I would say, well I really want to do both and I want to do them synthetically. I ended up getting a job with a large firm that does a lot historic preservation work because they were doing adaptations of aging infrastructure&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;a firm called Beyer Blinder Belle and I learned a lot. It was a great place to sta...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Cynthia Gunadi & Joel Lamere of GLD Eli Laipson 2015-08-17T11:39:05-04:00 >2015-08-17T11:40:28-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src="">Recently, Modelo met with the founders of the up-and-coming Brookline-based firm&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Gunadi Lamere Design</strong></a>&nbsp;(GLD&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;pronounced Guild). Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere described their approach to design, the genesis of their firm, and their most recent work &ldquo;The Grove&rdquo;, one of four pieces selected for the Boston Design Biennial.</p><p><strong>On their beginnings:</strong><br><strong><em>CG</em></strong><em>: We were both in the same class at GSD when we started in 2002.</em></p><p><strong><em>JL</em></strong><em>: Our first studio together was with Preston Scott Cohen, who ended up being a very influential character in both of our educations and might even speak to our trajectory. We both worked locally at different firms. I worked at Anmahian Winton Architects, she worked for Hashim Sarkis Studios. I started teaching here [MIT] in 2007 and basically right when that happened, an installation project cropped up that just seemed right for us to work on together. It was right up both our ideological alleys, so to speak. We took some research that we had been doing for a long time and put toge...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Christine M. West & Albert J. Garcia of KITE Architects Eli Laipson 2015-08-14T13:30:00-04:00 >2015-08-21T14:31:17-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>This week, Modelo&nbsp;had the pleasure of interviewing Christine M. West and Albert J. Garcia. West and Garcia are the Principals of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">KITE Architects Inc</a>. The firm is based in Providence, Rhode Island and serves all of New England.</p><p><strong>On the beginnings of KITE:<br>CW:</strong><em>&nbsp;KITE has had a presence in New England for over forty years, and has a legacy of quality, community-based design that attracted both Albert and I. The firm has its roots in institutional work from universities to non-profit organizations, as well as a strong history of residential projects, with a focus on craft. I personally was looking for an opportunity to do more with community-oriented and &ldquo;green&rdquo; design, as well as working in urban environments that were enabling density as a means to a more sustainable future. We&rsquo;ve been very fortunate to steer our work in that direction.</em></p><p><strong>AG:</strong><em>&nbsp;Christine and I started working together about 13 years ago when we both came to Providence and started working at KITE. We immediately found our workin...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Tao Zhang of Sasaki Associates Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T11:34:36-04:00 >2015-08-13T21:29:27-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Recently, Modelo&nbsp;visited&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sasaki Associates</a>&nbsp;in Watertown, Massachusetts. We had the opportunity to meet with Senior Associate Landscape Architect and Ecologist, Tao Zhang. Zhang provided us with some thoughtful reflections on his journey and what he thinks the future holds for landscape architecture. Full interview below.</p><p><strong>On discovering his voice as a designer:</strong><br><em>It&rsquo;s a long story. I was pursuing my PhD in Ecosystem Ecology at the University of Michigan&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;Ann Arbor after years of scientific training when I finally discovered landscape architecture, a profession that I did not know existed. The field appeared very attractive to me because it requires as much deep understanding of the natural environment as artistic pursuits in expression and perception. Although I always enjoyed science, I had never given up the dream for creative pursuits, as I grew up in a family with two artists. In my early 20s, I even deviated to pursue a music career after college. So I was drawn to landscape archit...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Paulis Austrins & Sophia Chang of Studio PSchema Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T11:29:07-04:00 >2015-08-13T21:31:10-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Last week, Modelo&nbsp;had a fantastic interview with Paulis Austrins and Sophia Chang, co-founders of architecture and design firm&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studio PSchema</a>. In the interview they share their outlook on design and where they see the architecture industry heading in the future. See the full interview below.</p><p><strong>On discovering their voices as designers:</strong><br><em>Every experience which influences our worldview also influences our designs. As such, our voices as designers are constantly evolving as our lives evolve. Design is something that permeates our lives and our surroundings and cannot be separated from our work or private lives. While we may not have always been able to articulate our design intent, it has been with us our entire lives.</em></p><p><em>From working together, we&rsquo;ve discovered that we both look at the world and approach design in fairly different ways, emerging from our distinct backgrounds. Paulis previously studied and worked in Economics and Information Technology, shaping the way he perceives social outcome...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Mariana Ibañez & Simon Kim of IK Studio Pt. II of II Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T11:20:40-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Last week, Modelo&nbsp;posted the first half of an interview with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">IK Studio</a>&rsquo;s principals Mariana Iba&ntilde;ez and Simon Kim at their Cambridge office. Iba&ntilde;ez and Kim run the six-person architecture and design firm together in Cambridge and Philadelphia where they are involved as both practicing architects and educators at Harvard GSD and University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Mariana and Simon were gracious enough to answer our questions thoughtfully and completely, so we&rsquo;ve broken their interview into a two-part post. This is the second post of the two, so please be sure to start from the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">beginning</a>&nbsp;before reading this post!</p><p><strong>On IK Studio&rsquo;s unique approach to design:<br>MI:</strong><em>&nbsp;We do the occasional museum competitions, library competitions, and things like that. But in terms of what we have built, I think that it&rsquo;s more on the side of physical computing, responsiveness, adaptiveness, which is also very central to our work and our agendas. I don&rsquo;t know if it can be a single typology or type of work...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Mariana Ibañez & Simon Kim of IK Studio Pt. I of II Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T11:16:38-04:00 >2015-08-13T21:36:58-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Last week, Modelo&nbsp;visited&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">IK Studio</a>&rsquo;s principals Mariana Iba&ntilde;ez and Simon Kim at their Cambridge office. Iba&ntilde;ez and Kim run the six-person architecture and design firm together both in Cambridge and Philadelphia where they are involved as both practicing architects and educators at Harvard GSD and University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Mariana and Simon were gracious enough to answer our questions thoughtfully and completely, so we&rsquo;ve broken their interview into a two-part post. Please be sure to follow up for part two next week!</p><p>Simon Kim is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and a director of the Immersive Kinematics Lab. He is also a licensed architect and principal of IK Studio.</p><p>Mariana Iba&ntilde;ez is an associate professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, member of the Geometry Lab and Responsive Environments lab, and principal of IK Studio.</p><p><strong>On their beginnings:<br>MI:&nbsp;</strong><em>We met in London at the&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Architectural Association</em></a><em>&nbsp;when we wer...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Alvin Huang of SDA Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T11:10:02-04:00 >2019-12-27T10:16:04-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>On Monday, Modelo interviewed&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Synthesis Design + Architecture</a>&nbsp;founder Alvin Huang. SDA is a growing Los Angeles-based firm with a global reach working on projects that range from actual buildings, to furniture, to public art and physical products.</p><p><strong>On SDA&rsquo;s approach to design:</strong><br><em>The bottom line is that we are designers and we like to think laterally and think about design problems. Very recently we&rsquo;ve been motivated by this quote I found in a lecture by&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Cedric Price</em></a><em>&nbsp;in the 1960s, &ldquo;Technology is the answer, but what is the question?&rdquo; That&rsquo;s the way we approach things. We&rsquo;re highly technologically driven but technology is the means, not the ends. We use technology as an opportunity to ask ourselves very specific questions about design problems.There&rsquo;s a difference between research being the collection of knowledge and the collection of information, and research that&rsquo;s about the production of information and production of knowledge. We&rsquo;re interested in design that can produce knowledge and ...</em></p> Design Manifestos: rukamathu.smith Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T11:04:40-04:00 >2015-08-13T21:31:03-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Last week, Modelo&nbsp;had the opportunity to interview Mark Rukamathu and Michael Smith. The duo founded their design firm,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong><em>rukamathu.smith</em></strong></a>&nbsp;in 2013 and are located in the heart of Somerville, Massachusetts. They sum up their design philosophy as follows:</p><p><em>We have been a practice for 452 days.<br>We think, we explore, we iterate.<br>Materials guide us; our clients inspire us.<br>Schedules, budgets and getting paid keeps things real.<br>We grow by making things</em></p><p>&ndash; Mark Rukamathu and Michael Smith on their design philosophy</p><p>Despite being a new firm, Mark and Michael already have an impressive collection of work. From kicking off their company by consulting on several non-disclosure projects for global design firm&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">IDEO</a>&nbsp;to fabricating an artifact model of the historic YMCA building on Huntington Ave for preservation, the duo&rsquo;s interests seem to have no limit. One day they could be creating custom beer tap handles for up-and-coming brewery Aeronaut and the next day teaching future design professionals at Harvard,...</p> Design Manifestos: Talanoa Lesatele of NAGA LLC Eli Laipson 2015-08-13T10:53:34-04:00 >2015-08-13T21:28:14-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Talanoa Lesatale, Regional Director of North America for&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NAGA LLC</a>, took the time to speak with us about his experience as an architect, what makes NAGA unique, and the future of design.</p><p><strong>On the SCAD experience (Savannah College of Art &amp; Design):</strong><br><em>I graduated from&nbsp;</em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>SCAD</em></a><em>&nbsp;in 1999. It was a great experience going to school there, but if I were to compare SCAD to other schools, I would say that it didn&rsquo;t have a design direction. If SCAD is the same as it was in my time, I think it&rsquo;s good for people who are self-starters and know what they want to do. It was good for me because I started at SCAD at an older age, and didn&rsquo;t go directly from high school. When I started, I had already worked as an artist, so I knew what I wanted to do. At SCAD, I had the freedom to develop my own designs in whatever direction I desired whereas, as far as I know, other architecture schools like Harvard GSD, the design direction is dictated by the chairman of the department, who is typically a famous architect.</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><em>&ldquo;Sel...</em></p> Design Manifestos: Susannah Drake of DLANDstudio Eli Laipson 2015-08-12T18:05:25-04:00 >2015-09-15T16:57:38-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><em>Susannah Drake presenting at TedxGowanus (image credit TedxGowanus)</em></p><p>Susannah Drake is the founder and principal architect of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">DLANDstudio</a>. This fall marks her 20th anniversary since graduating from Harvard GSD with both architecture and landscape architecture degrees. She has been doing architecture and landscape architecture since 1988. Last week Modelo&nbsp;spent some time with her at DLANDstudio&rsquo;s office in Brooklyn, New York.</p><p><strong>On Starting her firm</strong><br><em>I founded DLANDstudio in 2005. I&rsquo;m both an architect and a landscape architect. When I got out school with both degrees people didn&rsquo;t know what to do with me. I would go to the architecture firms and they would say, &ldquo;well what do you want to be? Do you want to be an architect or a landscape architect?&rdquo; And I would say, well I really want to do both and I want to do them synthetically. I ended up getting a job with a large firm that does a lot historic preservation work because they were doing adaptations of aging infrastructure&#8202;&mdash;&#8202;a firm called B...</em></p>