Inhabitat: You’re the sole N. American representative in Toto Gallery MA’s “Global Ends – Towards the Beginning” an exhibit that hopes to inspire architects to break away from the architectural uniformity resulting from past movements. Modernism has clearly been the most dominant and continues to permeate design – what are your thoughts on its value today?
Tom Kundig: Modernism at its core is a humanistic value. It is about shelter, about culture, and about equality, safety, and nurturing for a better future for EVERYBODY. Unfortunately today, many of these values have been lost in stylistic fashion. I am hopeful that the next movement will be about a meaningful search for a humanistic architecture. This is an idea that will never go out of style.
Inhabitat: Why do you think sustainability remains largely outside of theoretical discussions of architecture? Sustainability can be clever, innovative, it can justify designs, but by in large it is not a realm of theoretical review. Themes such as space, aesthetics, and cities are constant avenues for debate, speculation and experiment, but sustainability still seems thin. Thoughts?
Tom Kundig: Sustainability has been relegated to the ‘science’ side of practice, both by the practitioners and in academia. Architecture at its core is the intersection of the rational and the poetic. If architecture, academics and practitioners can embrace that idea and respect the two realms of the practice, this question would not have to be asked. Unfortunately the question is a good one.