Inhabitat: It seems that you have an organic quality and also a mathematical pattern thing going on with a lot of your work – certainly the Metropol Parasol …
Juergen Mayer: The digital world, of course, factors into our approach, it shapes how we design things and how we understand our built environment. For this project, using contemporary software was part of the production process, not just the design process — it really is a guiding force. However, what we are really interested in is what does this information and technology do to our built environments?
I have this obsession with the data protection patterns you find on the inside of envelopes, for example. This is exactly the way we control access to personal information, or camouflage or blur personal information from a public; a neutral face. These forms of control and access, of enveloping space, enveloping a certain kind of environment, this is interesting for us.
Inhabitat: Are you concerned with sustainability in your designs?
Juergen Mayer: Sustainability is one of the most important issues in architecture; building design has to work on a functional level, it has to work on a sustainability level, it also has to work on an aesthetic level, so I think it is one of the many parameters that helps us define our environment. We like to approach it with a more complex definition than what people normally understand as “sustainability”.
The interesting part of sustainability for us – besides trying to be “good” and do the right thing – is that it moves the attention of architecture again back to the future. Post-modernism and Deconstructivism were always so concerned with referencing the past, or anchoring a building in some sort of tradition. Sustainability flips this focus back to the future and creates a certain hope and idealism for a better future. Architecture is always about a better future, otherwise nobody would invest in it or care about it, right?
Video by Jonathan Wing