I DREAM MY PAINTING, I PAINT MY DREAM – KooZA/rch, A Visionary Platform of ArchitectureProfile
by Federica Sofia Zambeletti, co-founder of online platform KooZA/rch
29 January 2016
Architectural Association, London
AA 4th year Federica Sofia Zambeletti explains more about co-founding and running KooZA/rch, an online platform that translates between architecture, art, and drawing.
Drawing and architecture are two terms which, by definition, co-exist; the former being the primary means by which the architect can express his vision. From the sketch to the technical plan to the speculative Photoshop, ideas are drafted and developed. Lines are constructed into walls and textures magically transform into materials crafting and defining atmospheres which dictate the life of both building and user.
Nevertheless, whilst the building becomes a tangible structure which both inhabits and is inhabited, the drawing provides both viewer and creator the ability to project and dream in the realm of the abstract; to explore the intangible and the infinite amount possibilities offered by the play between vision and truth.
[caption id="attachment_5184" align="alignnone" width="360"] Aldo Rossi vs King Kong, by Jacopo Nori[/caption]
The obsession with the medium of drawing and the necessity of a place solely dedicated to this drove the creation of KooZA/rch, a Visionary Platform Designed for Architects and Curious People Worldwide. KooZA/rch is divided into two main categories: live posts and the archive. When sourcing the images to publish it is important for us to maintain a very ‘art-oriented’ aesthetic, thus generally rejecting realistic renders as false utopian translations of reality.
This painting-like approach stems from a keen interest with the realm of fine art where artists such as Magritte, Hockney, and Rousseau play a very inspirational role, each delineating their surrounding environment in a very distinct, personal way. Within their work, objects, concepts, and contexts are interpreted and distorted, then presented as reflections of the artist’s mind. What appears on canvas is not the thing as it exists but as it is experienced. In this sense the image becomes in itself a story and can be read as part of a wider narrative. Similarly, at KooZA/rch the representations of architecture become pieces of art liberating and transforming the role of the architect to that of an artist.
What are the main ambitions the KooZA/rch platform is trying to achieve?
KooZa/rch’s ambition is to revive and advertise the beauty of drawing architecture at a time when the hyper realistic render has become a more prominent element of visualization. From ink on paper to virtual line on screen, the drafting of architecture has greatly changed in the last 50 years. As an online platform concerned with the art of drawing, we aim to explore how the computer as a tool can be used to invigorate the beauty and detail of an image through the play between post production programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and so on.
[caption id="attachment_5182" align="alignnone" width="360"] Studio Pedro Duarte Bento[/caption]
What has the feedback been so far?
The feedback has been great and interest keeps on growing. The level of work that gets sent to us is of a very high standard and from very diverse backgrounds.
Why are the criteria for ‘art-oriented’ drawings important to you?
As mentioned above, we believe that architectural drawings should explain both the proposal as well as reflecting the vision of the architect. Differently to the render, a more ‘art oriented’ image also empowers the viewer, allowing them to create and speculate on the architecture. In this case the image becomes as much of the client as of the architect where both can project and construct their own narratives.
[caption id="attachment_5183" align="alignnone" width="360"] Studio Pedro Duarte Bento[/caption]
Why is it essential to bridge the gap between art and architecture?
I don’t think its about bridging the gap between the two, as architecture in itself is a form of art, but rather of using one as a means of exploring the other. As architects we need to be able to talk about and present our proposals not only as buildings but as environments which establish specific atmospheres as well as conveying a vision. Here art needs to be exploited as the language to convey this.
Tell us more about your trademark interview question ‘Who influenced you graphically?’
At architecture school and in the everyday we learn from and are influenced by the Masters, the great names which have left a mark on the way we think, talk, and live architecture. Everyday we carve our architectural identity and develop an aesthetic language which suits and mirrors our approach. As such, it is interesting to understand who influenced the creation of an aesthetic language we chose to represent our identity as designers.
Who influences you graphically?
One of our first posts featured the work of Tom Ngo which has been very influential in setting our graphic standards both for the platform and for our own work. Along this we of course cherish drawings such as those of Madelon Vriesendorp, Hejduk, Tschumi, and Aldo Rossi, whilst more recently studios like Fala Atelier and LCLA have proven to be of great inspiration. However, influences stem as much from the realm of architecture as from everything else that surrounds us. Works by illustrators such as Ettore Vitale and Albe Steiner are always great to look at, whilst within the realm of the everyday we are greatly inspired by magazine covers such as those seen on Life and The New Yorker.
[caption id="attachment_5181" align="alignnone" width="360"] Axonometric_The Supernatural Viewpoint, by Rocco Trussoni[/caption]
What’s the next step for KooZA/rch?
We are looking at turning KooZA/rch into a book which collects a selection of our publications. As avid readers, we very much cherish the 'piece of paper' and believe that images such as those on the website should have another life on paper. We are so used to scrolling through articles window after window that we sometimes forget what we saw three clicks before. The book on the other hand is less ephemeral.
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