The 10 x 10/3 interview: Didier Fiuza Faustino
The Parisian artist/architect on the philosophy behind his work, building in South Korea, and why he'd choose Le marquis de Sade to design his house
Parisian-based Didier Fiuza Faustino is the epitome of the artist/architect hybrid. Though his structures are based within the architectural ouevre, often their purpose is to make a political statement, invariably as a critique of contemporary architecture's failure to acknowledge its socio-political obligations. This approach is probably best demonstrated by the One Square Meter House (2003) - a cactus-like structure rising from a one-metre footprint. This dwelling for one person promotes a critical view of land speculation, and subverts the notions of habitability and adaptability - showing contemporary narcissism at its most absurd. His work is currently the subject of a solo exhibition, Agnosian Fields, at Le Forum exhibition space at Maison Hermès, Tokyo (until 23 November).
Didier Fiuza Faustino was selected by architect Joseph Grima as one of the best emerging architects for Phaidon's latest overview of contemporary world architecture, 10 x 10/3.
Q: You were selected by Joseph Grima for 10 x 10/3. What does it mean to be included in that book?
It's a pleasure to be part of this publication; the 10 x 10 series is a landmark in the international architectural landscape.
Q: Who else included in 10 x 10/3 are you particularly interested in and why?
Office Kristen Geers and David Van Severen, because of the conceptual rigor of their projects.
Q: Which building or project of your own design do you consider the most interesting of those featured and why?
Each of those featured is important, but the last one, Sky is the Limit [a tea pavilion in Yang Yang, in the Republic of Korea, set 20m off the ground], has a special value because building a tea house next to the DMZ in Korea was a totally hypothetical possibility.
Q: How do you approach a project? Can you say a bit about your working practice as an architect?
I'm looking for systems that are peripheral to architecture; I'm particularly interested in the body: the social and political body issues between individuals.
Q: Can you tell me about your design process; do you start from the same point or do different design projects require a different approach?
We are not into methodology; the starting point depends on the project.
Q: Has the idea of sustainability become more important in your work from when your practice first started? How is this manifested?
It is an integral part of our job but we do not claim that is the main purpose.
Q: Good design is many things, what elements do you feel underpin good design? Which one aspect of design do you give the highest priority?
The conceptual consistency between the three fundamental Lacanian Orders: the real, the imaginary and the symbolic.
Q: What for you constitutes outstanding architecture?
An architecture involved in our society.
Q: Who do you most admire in the world of architecture today and why?
Diller & Scofidio, because of their conceptual coherence.
Q: Who from the history of design/architecture would you most like to meet?
Gordon Matta Clark, who is the greatest architect of the century for me.
Q: If you could chose any architect from any era to design a house for you, who would it be and why?
Le marquis de Sade, because I would like to know what he would design.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring architects?
Q: What’s your view of today’s architecture community and the state of the creative industry at large?
Dogma is dead, everything is possible; which is not always a good thing.
Q: What do you feel are the greatest challenges for today’s architects?
Q:How do you see the future of architecture?
The future will be a remake.
Didier Fiuza Faustino, thank you.