Architect and educator Liam Young joins Paul Petrunia and Nicholas Korody in the Archinect studio for this week's One-to-One. Young, a kind of architect-non-architect (his definition of the role may vary), concerns his design and creative work with the anthropocentric futures of our globalized society, in architecture, energy, and technology.
Standard among his many roles are co-director of the AA's Unknown Fields Division, a nomadic research studio, and founder of the urbanism think tank, Tomorrow's Thoughts Today. Current projects include developing a new masters program at SCI-Arc in fiction and entertainment, and leading a studio at the AA. Special thanks to SCI-Arc for helping set up the interview.
This week's One-to-One guest is Jenna Didier, founder of the Materials & Applications research and exhibition space in Los Angeles. Didier started the driveway-sized venue in the front yard of her Silver Lake home in the early 2000s, looking for a space to establish community and exchange for like-minded architects, artists, designers, and makers in the city. M&A has since hosted installations by architects such as John Southern (Urban Operations), Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler (Oyler Wu Collaborative) and Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues (of Ball-Nogues Studio), among many others, and regularly holds events and gatherings.
More recently, Didier also founded Urban Applications: an initiative of M&A that works directly in and with local communities on environmental installations. We spoke about her work with robotics and fountains, and how creative communities are formed in sprawling metropolises.
This week on the podcast, we speak with Jens Bertelsen – a Danish architect specializing in historic preservation, who since 2011 has called himself "The Queen's Architect." Bertelsen’s official title under the Danish monarch (Queen Margrethe II) translates to something like “Royal Building Inspector,” “Royal Builder” or “Royal Surveyor,” but essentially means he's responsible for making sure that all the structures belonging to the monarchy stay in shape, and ideally, in use. This includes buildings like the Danish Parliament and the royal family’s winter home, Amalienborg Castle.
Bertelsen's firm, Bertelsen & Scheving, was founded in 2007 in Copenhagen, and specializes in historic preservation work. Bertelsen will hold the Royal Builder position until 2016.
Our new podcast, Archinect Sessions: One-to-One is an interview show, straight-up. Each episode features a single interview with a notable figure in contemporary architecture – it's that simple. Usually, One-to-One will be led by me or Paul Petrunia, while occasionally others will serve as guide. The conversation will be casual and spontaneous, touching on the interviewee's role in the expanding range of architectural practice, and will serve (we hope) a valuable archival role in future discourse.
For our very first episode, I spoke with Neil Denari of Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA). Aside from his firm's work, Denari is a tenured professor at UCLA, and was the director of SCI-Arc from 1997 - 2001. We spoke about the shifting focus of architecture education, multitasking, Los Angeles and the recession's impact on architecture.