Interview to Santiago Pérez because of Elastic Boundaries ´workshop
Where did the idea come from?
I have always admired the architecture of Charles & Ray Eames and Jean Prouvé.I also like to think that we can combine the desire of shape and the desire of the material, which are sometimes opposed and sometimes not. That has been one of my main topics in research; How can we teach students that architecture is the desire of the customer or architect but also the desire of the materials. Where? For over ten years, I have been developing these ideas, first in Tampa, then in Houston and now in Arkansas.
What materials do you use more often in your projects ?
I work with all kinds of materials. With the robot we use wood; we also use metal, cutting it with the Plasma Cutter; and the material I have used most recently is fabrics. In this workshop, the combination of fabrics with resins was done to simulate the carbon fiber (more economical).
Do you recommend the workshops? Why?
Sure, I've also made them in several places. In general, I make them in the place where I am teaching and I bring someone to collaborate and do something different. I like to do workshops because they are very intense and students learn more in two or three days than what they can learn in a course.Recently in Arkansas, I have done workshops with Sean Ahlquist, who studied in Germany with Achim Menges and they are working with "Robot", also with young New Yorkers who work with
Grasshoper and parametrics ( Gil Akos and Ronnie Parsons of Mode Lab), and in Houston with William Massie (well known in America and a pioneer in working with textiles).William Massie + Santiago Perez - MICROLIVING STUDIO
What application has your technique to create ephemeral architecture?
Practical applications, as for example when there are natural disasters and temporary spaces have to be created in a minimum time and in a very lightweight way, being transportable by plane or boat. Something I have not done yet but it is possible to be done: If there is a place where there is necessity because of no money but there are materials, like bed sheets or objects that are in a house, with intelligence, intention and a bit of experimentation, you can make something beautiful and say that it is architecture. That interests me a lot. You can do something beautiful with not much money and that can last over time.A tip for all students: "Never think that, because you don't have something, as tools, or you have never done something, like welding metal, you can not do it."Anyone can do anything. We don't need to be experts or spend 10 years studying, no, if we want to, we can do it. And do not let anyone tell you what you can not do. Everyone is an expert.
What has worried you the most about the workshop?
I'm not used to working without basic tools. Despite this, I like that we had to work within those limits. But for me that's not a problem; determine something with not much material, very few time or tools, is very interesting.
When did you start these projects?
There is an important moment in my career. In 1993 when I came back to America, after living a year in Japan, I met the sculptor Naomi Seki. I invited her to Boston to do a workshop in which we did two different projects that were installed in the same space. One light and the other heavy. In this project, my students created models / full-scale models, and from that day I have always taught in the same way. Students can learn drawing and making models, but also making workshops with full-scale materials and
models. Naomi Seki + Santiago Pérez - JOINT STUDIO
Web Santiago Pérez
Photos in our liveStream Channel