Tomas Koolhaas is a filmmaker in Los Angeles, whose most recent project, a documentary about his father Rem, recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival. REM follows its titular architect around the world, visiting his projects and investigating their human impact. Aware of his special perspective on the film's subject, Tomas didn't want REM to be a teary biopic or heady architectural salvo, but something more impressionistic and accessible, appealing to emotions over intellectualism. We speak about managing family relationships in creative work, his influences as a filmmaker, and film's role in architectural media at large.
Martino Stierli took over as MoMA's chief curator of architecture and design in 2015, when the museum was already undergoing major changes. Diller Scofidio + Renfro's redesign was underway, and the architecture and design galleries faced something of an uncertain future in the expanded museum layout. On the podcast, Stierli dispels the rumors that the galleries would be closed permanently, and discusses MoMA's strategies for exhibiting architecture, as well as his plans to diversify the museum's collection.
For nearly 30 years, Michael Arbib taught computer science, neuroscience, engineering, psychology, and mathematics at the University of Southern California, and is known for his prolific work on brains and computers: essentially, what the mechanisms of one can teach us about how the other works. Gathering together all aspects of his work, he’s sharpened his focus on the connection between architecture and neuroscience, and developed the concept of neuromorphic architecture.
He is now associated with the NewSchool for Architecture and Design and UC San Diego, and has played a major role in the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, based in La Jolla, California. We spoke about the Academy’s upcoming conference, and what architecture practice can realistically take from neuroscientific research.
Kunlé Adeyemi founded NLÉ in Amsterdam and Lagos in 2010, after over eight years at OMA. Raised in Kaduna, Nigeria, with an architect father who was constantly redesigning his childhood home, Adeyemi studied architecture in Lagos before getting an MArch II at Princeton, studying with Peter Eisenman. His work at OMA included pivotal roles in projects such as Lagos’ master plan and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Throughout his work, he focuses on issues of rapid urbanization and climate change in the Global South.
I spoke with Kunlé this past August, for his keynote presentation at the AIA Tennessee Convention in Chattanooga. We cover his work in wide breadth: how he focuses on cities’ relationships to water and infrastructure, quickly iterating projects like the Makoko Floating School prototypes in Lagos and at the Venice Biennale, and why he left OMA to start his own firm in the first place. Due to a technical glitch in the live recording, the episode starts about ten minutes into our conversation.