Interview With Eric Goldemberg Of MONAD Studio
For MONAD Studio architecture refers both to a hardcore lineage of our disciplinar formation-- I worked with Peter Eisenman and Asymptote Architecture/Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture; and Veronica worked with a group of Greg Lynn, F.O.A./ Alejandro Zaera-Polo + Farshid Moussavi, UN Studio/Ben van Berkel + Caroline Bos, and RUR/Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto in New York -, as well as the opportunity to explore a network of art collaborations through design, outside of what would be conceived as the limitations of the discipline; this is done through exhibition design, digitally made sculptures and paintings, cooperations with video-artists and artists, etc. We share all style duties, and she is likewise my motivation; she has a wild spirit that takes place through her paintings and it comes back to our styles through mysterious feedback processes; so far her artwork functions on a parallel dimension-- even though we do all in the very same warehouse-- but there is an unspoken viral contamination across her painter activity and our architecture. It proposes a novel vital reception of computational architecture based in the capacity for the reception of digital style to engage with core aspects of the discipline such as time-based operations and efficiency. The interest in issues pertaining to repetition and difference, balanced perception, and memory & identity have to do with that heritage and our interest in the concepts of the avant-garde in New York are also to be traced back to that early development; both Veronica and I craved what was going on at Columbia University for a long time while developing and developing our early jobs in Buenos Aires, and we finally went to study at Columbia in 2001-2002, which was a seminal experience for the type of work we do now. One of them is The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum exhibit job where we are running in different capabilities, from co-curators to producers and designers of the exhibition installation that will show Art Nouveau items from the museum's collections developed by the likes of Hector Guimard, Henry van de Velde, and Victor Horta, in discussion with digitally fabricated objects developed by contemporary architects such as Greg Lynn, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Mark Gage, and David Ruy.
Eric Goldemberg: Fabio, it is my pleasure to try at addressing this question by saying that I might not match any of the task descriptions you point out, or I may be all of them at the same time ... but I like rather the unidentified choice better because it provides me and my partner Veronica Zalcberg the chance to keep challenging any tags that individuals might want to apply to our activities and ruminations.
Furthermore, I am also a scholastic (I am a full-time professor and digital style planner at the School of Architecture at FIU - Florida International University in Miami), a book author, exhibits manager & producer, even a video artist and general cultural scavenger too-- you ought to see the type of strange things that are collected at our MONAD Studio warehouse! ... but let's just state that 'architect' is a complete term that synthesizes our spatial engagement with the world of style, which 3D digital design and fabrication is our medium of option, our know-how that enables us access to other channels of expression.
3dd: So what is with the snorkeling? I think the photo on the website is genius!
EG: Yes, it is casual and rather amusing but also reveals our existential angst; the immersion into a liquid medium where one is totally free of bounding collaborates liberates the senses to nab spatial relations of the body through multiplicitous vectorial trajectories that otherwise would be obscured by conventions and presumptions about how the world is to be viewed. Through our work we question specifically the rhythmicity of the cognitive procedure; we have an interest in the impacts of understanding and the capability to inflect such perceptual activity; to provoke, to tease, and to change the physical environment through digital techniques; some individuals call that architecture and we do not disagree with them.
3dd: I am sure nobody has ever asked you the most easy concern. What is it for you architecture?
EG: I would state that architecture is a shifting ground due to the fact that the term is nowadays being used for all sorts of things beyond the domain of architecture itself; it has been co-opted by political campaigns, by the business world in general, as well as becoming an 'autonomus know-how' term that explains the structure or process of the "ending up being" of anything, actually.
For MONAD Studio architecture refers both to a hardcore lineage of our disciplinar development-- I dealt with Peter Eisenman and Asymptote Architecture/Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture; and Veronica dealt with a team of Greg Lynn, F.O.A./ Alejandro Zaera-Polo + Farshid Moussavi, UN Studio/Ben van Berkel + Caroline Bos, and RUR/Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto in New York -, as well as the opportunity to check out a network of art cooperations through design, outside of what would be conceived as the limitations of the discipline; this is done through exhibit style, digitally produced paintings and sculptures, collaborations with video-artists and musicians, and so on. In any case, our explorations of that limit are constantly finished with the lens and the mind of a designer, always seeking for a spatial-emotional dimension of any issue at hand. Simply put, although we participate on a number of various mediums, we always operate as architects that we are.
A good example of our method to architecture is the Memorial for the Victims of the Tsunami in Thailand, where there is a psychological response to the stemming catastrophe and yet it is organized spatially into elements that disperse the perceptual charge across a field condition, engaging the sublime scale of the affected landscape and arranging the territory for architecturally fluid experiences. The yard formations weave courses whereby there is a break-down in the magnitude of the event which comes back to haunt as the memory of multiple micro-events ripple in succession, linked flawlessly down the mountain and all the method to the beach and open sea. The project benefited from an existing drain channel and amplified it to enhance the spectacle of water partially flooding the yards, increasing and decreasing according to necessary rhythms that modify the perceptual field throughout the multiplicitous yards and thus producing a space for contemplation, a space to experience the depth of the interaction between memory and identity.
3dd: Monad Studio's design work as you already pointed out is shared with your partner. Can you present us much better also to Veronica Zalcberg?
We share all style duties, and she is also my inspiration; she has a wild spirit that transpires through her paintings and it comes back to our designs through mysterious feedback procedures; so far her artwork functions on a parallel measurement-- even though we do all in the very same storage facility-- but there is an unmentioned viral contamination across her painter activity and our architecture. Veronica is also now leading our nascent furniture and product style venture which is difficult MONAD to continue the refinement of digital fabrication strategies, pushing the sensibility of comprehensive resolution and assembly procedures that industrial items require.
3dd: I like the statment: 'Monad Studio is a style research study practice with focus on spatial understanding related to rhythmic affect.' Can you explain to us what you imply by that?
EG: Our practice is concentrated on teasing architectural effects related to the understanding of rhythms in area, enhanced by digital technology and fluid, three-dimensional style.
This is much better described in my upcoming book 'Pulsation in Architecture' which is coming out in late September published by J.Ross Publishing Inc. and I think it can be a contribution to our field at a time when digital architecture is pleading for a (more culturally robust) agenda beyond a mere instrumentality.
A survey of practices about our affective capability to sense balanced affect in space, it resonates with Antoine Picon's variation of performance in architecture.
It highlights the function of digital design as driver for a brand-new spatial perceptiveness associated to rhythmic perception. It proposes an unique critical reception of computational architecture based in the capacity for the reception of digital style to engage with core aspects of the discipline such as time-based operations and efficiency. The generative engine of digital architecture renews a discourse of part-to-whole relationships through the lens of rhythmic affect.
There is a paradigm shift in spatial perception due to the extensive use of computational methods and the capability to change enormous amounts of information into spatial patterns of efficiency. Pulsation introduces the basic animate capability of living type and reshapes our understanding of architectural area throughout the several scales of a task, from digital creation to fabrication.
An emerging thread of balanced sensibility binds loosely a survey of practices consisting of contributions by Peter Eisenman, EMBT/Miralles-Tagliabue, Jeffrey Kipnis, Greg Lynn, UN Studio/Van Berkel-Bos, P.Scott Cohen, RUR/Reiser+Umemoto, Asymptote, Ali Rahim, Minimaforms/Theo Spyropoulos, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Ruy-Klein, Gage-Clemenceau, Commonwealth/Boira-Coombes, NOX/Lars Spuybroek, Evan Douglis, Ed Keller, Kokkugia/Roland Snooks, and others.
3dd: You have such a worldwide background and you have actually invested so much time operating in Argentina as well! Your work though is very different from what we typically see coming out of South American offices. Were your work and your orientation towards architecture constantly so comparable to what you do today or did they evolve in time?
EG: My moms and dads were both architects and academics in Argentina with a large practice purchased huge social housing complexes, done mostly throughout the 70's. The systemic nature of those tasks remains in my blood stream, no doubt about that. The interest in concerns relating to repetition and distinction, rhythmic understanding, and memory & identity relate to that heritage and our interest in the ideas of the progressive in New York are likewise to be traced back to that early development; both Veronica and I craved what was going on at Columbia University for a long time while designing and constructing our early projects in Buenos Aires, and we lastly went to study at Columbia in 2001-2002, which was a seminal experience for the kind of work we do now. But the interest in complexity theory existed before emigrating to do our Masters. We feel today that our work is getting here at a plateau of interest and sophistication that can only be possible by integrating our South American origin with the strong desire for the experience at the American academia, particularly the direct exposure to the digital culture that was so hot throughout our stay at Columbia-- where I later taught studios with Hernan Diaz Alonso and Hani Rashid too. I would state that the expert formation we brought from Argentina acquired a particular extensive dimension as we got immersed in academic community, creating a productive feedback between the two milieus.
Being from Argentina, we bring a certain intensity, passion, and ingenuity to approaching and resolving design issues that differentiates our practice and provides it a specific taste that is the outcome of being awake, all senses inform to deepen meaningful chances provided by every task, be it a structure, an art installation, a book, or a painting. They are all approached with the muscle of the naked eye.
3dd: The work that you display online on www.monadstudio.net is an excellent teaser for conversations on what the future could be or also on what today need to look like. Exists a real expediency behind these tasks?
EG: Absolutely! We are now on developmental stage of three projects that serve as lorries for the exploration of the needed innovation. Among them is The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum exhibition project where we are running in different capabilities, from co-curators to producers and designers of the exhibit installation that will show Art Nouveau things from the museum's collections designed by the likes of Hector Guimard, Henry van de Velde, and Victor Horta, in discussion with digitally fabricated items developed by contemporary designers such as Greg Lynn, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Mark Gage, and David Ruy.
Our screen system consists of several vitrine-environments woven together by a system of 'elevated roots' that develop the visual narrative and support the lighting and atmosphere of The Wolfsonian's galleries. We are going through the procedure of studying several models of high-density foam covered with polyurethane-treated paint, and a great deal of sanding! The most hard part is adjusting the trim of the polygonal modeling so that one can partition the topologies of the parts and justify the assembly: to put it simply, we are trying to find out how to cut the salami, correctly!
3dd: This is a truly cool metaphor the one of the salami! Now, I am going to ask you this just because otherwise our readers will ask it to me instead! Which software do you utilize the most?
EG: I utilize primarily Maya for 3D modeling; it is nearly a 3rd partner! We also use a range of software for the various phases of a job, including Rhino for digital fabrication and 3D Max for visualization.
3dd: Is there a specific relationship between the software you use and the type of architecture you produce? I see in your work a lot of organic and polygonal modeling, is this the outcome of your computer system abilities or something you were pursuing directly with your creativity?
EG: Working within the restriction and the logic of any given software application is primitive to taking full advantage of the expressive capability of the work that is going to come out, in addition to being able to set yourself up to be 'stunned' by combinatorial reasonings and unmatched relational effects. We do not seek complete understanding of a provided software; rather, we pick to focus in a couple of various tools that allow us to produce our style strategies, be it polygonal modeling or nurbs surfaces driven. Geared up with this intimate understanding of what is possible within the limitations of the tools, the quest is to maximize the refinement of our visual objectives in regards to fulfilling a task's artistic or architectural agenda. Such program is what drives the behavior of the types and not the other method around. We are not anticipating what is the latest device or the current brand-new tool set, we prefer to invest in a greater degree of know-how within a range of recognized impacts that can result in an even narrower architectural research.