The following is an interview given by Willian Fagiolo to the whohub website about architecture. You can find the original - in Portuguese - here: http://www.whohub.com/willianfagiolo
INTERVIEWING WILLIAN FAGIOLO
- What is your experience in architecture?
My working experience happened in two stages. In the beginning of my career, I worked for big offices in São Paulo such as Julio Neves, Croce, Aflalo & Gasperini and Escritório Figueiredo Ferraz.
After that I have started working in the public area by formulating policies and coordinating and directing social housing projects, programs and planning, as well as urban development and mobility. Working in Palocci’s government in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, and then as his advisor in the Federal Chamber, was very productive. We were responsible for the first PPPs (public and private partnerships) in social housing in the country, and that took place when I was Cohab’s president. We won several national awards because of it. Afterwards, in 2002, and at Palocci’s request, I developed the foundation for the creation of the Ministry of Cities (Ministério das Cidades).
Working for the CET (Traffic Engineering Company) in Sao Paulo, I suggested that we started partnerships with all City Halls by sharing their know-how in the form of agreements. At Itaipu Binacional, I created a number of projects for the development and growth of the west of the State of Paraná. It was a valuable experience as I was always working side by side with great professionals.
- Is there a webpage or blog where we can see your work?
Yes. You can find me on twitter: http://twitter.com/WillianFagiolo, here: http://twitpic.com/photos/WillianFagiolo,http://pro.casa.abril.com.br/photo/photo/listForContributo (…) and on tumblr: http://willianfagiolo.tumblr.com/
- For you, what is a good architecture design?
Movies and architecture are soul mates. Movies can produce and simulate the urban space in an unparalleled way by using symbols and images, or emblematic situations which reflect our lives and even, and most especially, in their own spatial configuration.
Of course, the architectural space is much more than mere scenography, because it allows us the connection between time, space and men. However, the movies are becoming more and more a revealing instrument of a new and flagrant facet of urban centers: the appearance of a city, its dreams and reality. In one way or another, traces of architecture have always been present on the big screen.
As an architect, I have always tried to borrow movie tricks such as the capture of an instant, the look, the daily voyeurism discovered by the Renaissance geniuses which creates a certain and indispensable spectacular reality.
- What historical era of architecture most fascinates you?
Each and every one of them fascinates me. The human ingenuity, the artifice, shelter, the knowledge of capturing light, movement, in stone, wood, clay, marble… Men have always managed to produce a composition of rhythms, gestures, images, takes and fantasy.
- The name of a famous building you do not like at all.
That’s impossible to answer. My passion for architecture prevents me from doing that.
- What hardware or software do you use as essential tool for your work?
I’m still from the time of writing boards, rice paper, 6B pencils and marker pens and ink. It’s only after that process that I use computer programs and all their resources to create an electronic model of what I want.
- Where do you live or work? Why?
I work and live in Ribeirao Preto, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’m a consultant now. My children were born here. I like Ribeirao Preto, even though I’m always on the road.
- Do you work with other architects? How did you build your team?
I like working in teams. I’ve worked with many architects over the years. The team is always formed by affinity and competence.
- What do you think about contests? What kind of contests do you usually take part in?
I like contests, but there hasn’t been any in Brazil for a long time. The profession is not taken seriously here in Brazil.
- How can the identity of a building signature be maintained in regards of the identity of the environment?
Respecting nature is an obligation not only in architecture. If contradicted, nature can be quite merciless.
- Which architects do you admire most: the historical ones or the contemporary ones?
Well, I admire all of them. Palladio, Niemeyer, Gropius, Bauhaus architects, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Santiago Calatrava, Jean Nouvel, Toyo Ito, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, Herzog & Meuron, Eduardo Longo. And I also like myself…
- In your professional philosophy, what comes first: function or form?
I think they merge. They are Siamese twins. One cannot live without the other.
- Horizontal or vertical urbanism?
I’m unorthodox. Horizontal or vertical according to the circumstances: beauty, safety, comfort, accessibility, and preservation of the environment.
- What will a single-family home be like in 2050?
Will we get past 2012?
- Which new materials interest you most?
I am very interested in green plastic, the biopolyethylene one, renewable and resulted from a process of polymerization equivalent to cases already known and produced by the dehydration of ethanol from sugar cane.
- Bioclimatic architecture, automation systems… Are we approaching a profound revolution in architecture?
Without a doubt. But it’s still quite inaccessible. They have become ‘exotic’ right now, exclusive. First we have to solve primary questions – pre-historical even – regarding housing and infrastructure.
- While developing a project, do you feel closer to your clients or to the public that is going to use it?
You cannot always get one or the other or even both.
- The pharaohs built pyramids, and bankers build skyscrapers. Is architecture a symbol of power?
Not only architecture is a symbol of power, but also its consequence and effect. Power in itself is domination of one over another, which is already abominable.
- Imagine an ideal home for you. Where would it be? How would it be?
In the mountains, on the beach, in a metropolis. It depends on my mood. Am I happy? Then that’s enough. We are urbanites, nomads.
- Is it possible to copy something to be original?
I believe in “good references” and I don’t mind using them.
- Where is the balance between an ingrained architecture and the one that responds to its time?
I think it is in meeting peace, happiness, balance and harmony. It is in knowing yourself. If you have it all, it’s even better.
- Spectacle architecture: are the buildings becoming more and more like a media phenomenon?
Technology has expanded men’s limits and their projects. I think it’s valid.
- What slogan would you like to see written at the entrance of an architecture college?
Architecture is an architect’s profession!
- What kind of project would be in your dreams right now?
Design for a futuristic film of Steven Spielberg.
I have several, but mostly cartoon artists. But you can never leave out all the great geniuses of humanity.
- What architecture webpages do you like?
I like the ones from the contemporary architects I have already mentioned previously.