After discussing the work of Philippe Rahm on our blog for some years, we were very glad to personally interview him in Venice, during his design workshop, Synthetic Venice, at the University IUAV of Venice. The jargon, etc. team prepared a number of topics which I discussed with Mr. Rahm.
Philippe Rahm leads one of the most exciting and progressive architecture practices today, basing his work in the invisible and molecular to the astronomic and meteorological. The strength of his office's architecture lies in what we find as the basis in all the works: pure physicality. Whether by decomposing the light spectrum, providing diverse air temperatures and moisture contents, inducing pressure differentials, or taking advantage of material physics and chemistry, the proposed architecture makes real transformations inside and outside of the body, corporeal. As in D.H. Lawrence's The Man Who Died, we are freed from the obligation of symbols, refusing our antiquated cry, "noli me tangere!", awake and acting in the warm and raging ebb and flow, finally and directly living architecture as a tactile phenomenon.
Prompted from a few questions, Mr. Rahm discussed the ideas behind his creative process, his interest in the origins of architecture, how he approaches the interior world, and what science means in his practice.
Personally, it has been a rewarding and stimulating experience to work in his office this year and teach as an assistant in his recent workshop in Venice. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Philippe Rahm architectes
Synthetic Venice (Facebook group)
Previous related articles:
Rahm lecture at ETH Zurich
Architekturforum lecture review, part 1
Architekturforum lecture review, part 2
By Gabriel Cuéllar on Tuesday, July 20, 2010