This video highlights the mental process behind Aravena’s personal practices and insights into Elemental’s unique approach to design. The interview begins discussing Aravena’s introduction to architecture as a teen and how architecture, a rather obscure phenomenon to the young Aravena, became his passion. Throughout the film, Aravena flips to the pages of his sketchbooks, illustrating the raw hand of the architect.
“Physically shaking a building, everything that was not strictly necessary falls. So why wait for the earthquake? Can’t we submit design to a mental force that has taken out everything that is not strictly necessary?”
– Alejandro Aravena
Elemental’s approach to a project begins by formulating a question. Once the completed question is introduced, the team can begin to experiment with architectural solutions. Many of these solutions, Aravena has found, require architecture to be in a state of “irreducible existence” or “without frills.” At its core, architecture is composed of a series of decisions, the architect describes. When working on projects with limited resources, each decision has a greater impact on the overall design.
Aravena recognizes some elements of his projects as more successful than others, but Elemental’s approach to architecture and ability to propose a solution to contemporary social issues through innovative building practices have provided the international architecture community with greater knowledge to solve global issues.