STUDIO TALK Studio Talk at CINEArchitecture (Transkriberat) Welcome everyone to this studio talk at CINEArchitecture Let me present Agneta – Founder at CINEAchitecture and the person who coordinates all the work here. She’s been a practicing architect for some 25 years now and has driven projects in many different countries and won several awards for her work. She is also an artist educated at Konstfack in Stockholm and throughout her life as an artist she’s had two main recurring studies – La Modulor and Odd Realism, that we will touch upon during our talk. She is also a publisher of books such as Villa Spies and Bengt Edman “complete works”, whom she worked close with. My name is Wim Wiklund and I’m a trainee here at CINEArchitecture. My job is to assist Agneta in several different projects ranging from publishing to working with buildings. The project we’re presenting now – Analog/Digital is a development project and collaboration between me and Agneta. It’s a study of time and space and an exercise in feministic practice.
Wim: To begin with, Agneta, are development projects important parts of architectural practice and in that case, why? Agneta: I think it’s very important to develop your view of architecture and architectures role in the society all the time because one part of our role in the society as architects is to develop the society. So we have to do some developing work on the office to proceed all the time. And I think you have to putt hat in between your ordinary work all the time because otherwise you get stuck in something. You stop doing research in yourself and then you stop developing your architecture. Wim: The whole project is generated by drawings made by you in the early nineties. Only a couple of years after you graduated from the royal institute of Technology in Stockholm. Back then, what was your motivation, what made you start this investigation about the glass, the urban landscape and the concept of chaos for example? Agneta: It was a post modernistic time and I think that I thought that the view on architecture was too much on the surface. I wanted a deeper view on it and i also wanted to do my research on a feministic practice so it’s a theoretical part of my work so I started to get deeper and deeper and transform ordinary historical architecture into my own point of view and feministic view. Wim: This is a feministic project. Tell us more about your pursuit in finding a narrative in female art and architecture history. Do you feel like you have found a theme or common thread? Or that you can place your work in a feministic context? Agneta: Yes, it’s absolutely classical. I’m interested in how everything started and I’ve been interested in the classical since I was a young girl. I was interested in Rome and Athens. The buildings and the society and everything and also in gymnastics. It’s a part of the classical movement in society. It’s not so common nowadays but I am interested in a classical view. That’s because I think we have a base there and if i want to do have a feministic practice I have to have the base we have in common. Use that base. Wim: Your art study La Modulor links to this subject. Would you tell us about the study and your findings there? Agneta: La Modulor is a figure. It’s about how females can express themselves from their body and soul. Express themselves as a subject in architecture, not as an object or defined as an object in architecture. Express themselves . I think that’s very important and absolutely necessary because otherwise in the future we will create empty rooms in society. Females have to express their own rooms. Wim: Was it a way for you to get in touch with that part of yourself that has this spatial empathy or ability? Agneta: Yes absolutely, I use my own body for this you know. I absolutely use my own body. That’s the only method I have you know. You use your senses you use your body you use your arms, legs and also your soul and I was trained to do that when I was a young gymnast in Sophia-girls so for me it was natural to do the same in architecture. To develop a kind of language in feministic architecture. I think that’s wats in it. You have to use yourself for it because I can’t go to the books with this subject. I can’t really go to the history. I have to just trial and error and find out things in my own experience. Wim: You identify yourself as a doer. A person who concretize ideas, in this case feministic views. Do you work with a lot of other people who share your feministic worldview? Agneta: I don’t work professionally with other people doing this because you know, my mentor was Bengt Edman and he’s was a very willful architect and that’s what I’m interested in because that’s something holistic in the architect. And there must be something holistic in the architect but it’s not so common with feministic practice within architecture it’s more in the academics and philosophy. I share my experience more with younger architects actually. They are more interested in this. Wim: I’m moving back to the images and models now – We made this project together, but how was it for you to give away the material to me for interpretation? Was it frustrating? Agneta: It’s been no problems at all. I look at it sometimes. I just took it out and we started the project. I have no problems at all. I’m curious about what happens. I can’t know from the beginning. I think it’s very good for me to give it away because that’s something that artists often have a problem with. Wim: Could you let the audience in on our working method? Agneta: When I did the sketches in the nineties. When you melt down the knowledge about something. Like doing a poetry sketch more than doing something concrete. It’s more like poetry. Wim copied some parts of this and transformed it. And also transformed this into CAD. AutoCad . She followed some lines, made some of her own and did a new view on it and then I also developed that digital. After we had the analogue version and the digital version, we started to build models in 3d. And they were also free from the first parts of this study. That is three parts; the analogue, the digital and the models. They are free from each other but they also connect somehow in a poetical way. Wim: What is the link between the originals, the digital readings and the models? How do you think they work together? Agneta: It has to do with 2d and 3d of course. If you do a sketch you also have in your mind a 3d vision. It sounds very simple but it isn’t really simple you know. 3d is something very special for a painter. Because we work in 2d for many years of our life and we explore in 2d. You have to have a big content to make that step. For an artist. Wim: I completely agree. From working with illusion of space to actual space, it’s a different language. Wim: We all go through phases in careers as creators would you tell us a little about different phases of interests that you’ve been through? Where you’ve been acquired to do further reading to better understand and better transform your own world of symbols so to speak. Agneta: When I was in architecture school and I was interested in les beau arts style of education. I wasn’t so interested in the polytechnic school that KTH is and I wanted to go to Konstfack and I got the opportunity to be there but I left them to go to France. I wanted to dig deep in architecture and what makes the changes in modernism. I was such a fan of early modern architecture. Bauhaus, Tristan Sara, Le Corbusier, and that’s how I started to read about Le Corbusier and Le Modulor. When I was sitting there in Marais in the Centre Culturel de Suedoise for a year, from early in the morning to late at night. I was thinking; what’s me in this? What is my part as a woman in this? And then I decided to transform, as I had done int the gymnastics. Transform Le Corbusiers idea about Le Modulor into La Modulor. So I did that transformation for 25 years. It makes sense to me. And when you make a study like La Modulor, you can’t reach all the way. You just can’t. You have to be glad if you sometimes reach some goals. But you can’t reach them all. That will happen in the future. Many female architects are going to express themselves in the future. I think women overall, are gonna become stronger subjects in the future. Wim: Last question; Throughout your life you’ve lived in cities, metropoles like Paris and the suburbs. Nowadays you live in the archipelago, a sort of rural landscape. How do you think the new environment affects your work? Agneta: It was absolutely necessary. To tell the truth I was affected about my deep study. It was tough for the soul and the body to work with constant transformation. When you use yourself in a study, every artist do, they use themselves as a base in their studies. I felt that I had to go out to the nature and to the sea and the sky and the woods. But also I had the opportunity to rent a house, where the forest meets the sea.