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Architect Interview: Inside Scoop And Next Steps For With Brazilian Architect Isay Weinfeld

Get Inspired By Brazilian Architect, Isay Weinfeld

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As I continue educating myself on the world of design, I find myself drawn to the similarities between designers across the industry. After reading this great interview with one of Brazil's leading contemporary architects, Isay Weinfeld's, I realize that Garrison's mind is very similar to his. They're both individuals that are bursting with creativity, vision, drive, and thinking outside of the box. For this reason, I am very excited to share Isay Weinfeld's interview that he conducted with Dezeen about his 40 year career. We can learn so much from creative spirits and see where and how they pull their inspiration.

The part of the interview that really spoke to me was the part that he said, " of the things that I am very proud of is the wide variety of work." Isay works predominantly in his home country, where he has designed numerous private residences as well as apartment buildings, hotels, shops, banks and restaurants.


Isay Weinfeld's Interesting Approach To His Work

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Alyn Griffiths: Do you have a particular visual language or material palette?

Isay Weinfeld: No never. I run from belonging to any school or any style, I hate to be labelled, I prefer not to have a style, I am more free. I choose materials according to the project, according to the clients, the country, the project that I am designing and I love all the materials.


Never Look Back At Your Work, Look Forward

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Alyn Griffiths: How does it feel to look back over your career?

Isay Weinfeld: I don't like to look back, to be honest. But one of the things that I am very proud of is the wide variety of work. I could never stay designing the same thing in my life or be specialised designing houses or hotels or restaurants. Since the first year I tried not to take jobs that were related to the last one.

I am curious about things, I like to design things I haven't done before, to learn more about it and this is what moved me. I remember one summer a private foundation, a family of art collectors from the south of Brazil, called me to design a very small cultural centre for their foundation. They told me they needed to have a small art gallery inside.

I said I already designed two art galleries, and they also said they needed a bar, and I said I designed some bars already. Then they said they need a restaurant inside, but I already designed this. Then I noticed I know how to manage some of my instruments of work.


A Man Who Seems To Have Designed Everything, Would Love To Design A Brothel Or A Gas Station

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Alyn Griffiths: It sounds like you've designed everything!

Isay Weinfeld: No, not yet! I would love to design a brothel or a gas station.


Successful Designers, Put The Clients' Needs First

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Alyn Griffiths: How do you choose which projects to take on?

Isay Weinfeld: I pay a lot of respect to the people who find my telephone number and ask me to design something. This respect is maybe the most important thing in my relation with my clients. I would never design a house that I want to design, in the way that I want to design. I always try to design a house they want but through my eyes. This is a very subtle difference that is very important to me.

It's very common to hear an architect saying that clients ruin their work and it's never happened [with me] – the client always adds to my work because I always choose them very carefully. I select not because I am arrogant, but because I'm honest. Maybe I'm not the right architect to do your work, maybe I'm not capable.

If you are a good client for me, and I am a good architect for you, we for sure will be happy together. But we need to have respect. The client also adds, mainly in a private house, because it's their house, not my house. The client is giving you an opportunity, so to make your own masterpiece is disrespectful in my opinion.


Designing A Building For More Outdoor Space In Urban Areas

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Alyn Griffiths: Your 360ΒΊ Building tries to provide more outdoor space for people in urban areas – how could that be applied to the rest of Brazil's overcrowded cities?

Isay Weinfeld: This is just a small example, we have also the problem with security so it was a way to have your house above in a building, with a garden or a courtyard the same size as the space inside but open and more protected. This is something that is missing in Brazil because of security; to have your own small house with a garden, so this offers an answer to people who want spaces like this.


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Alyn Griffiths: Why did you choose to get involved with that project?

Isay Weinfeld: With a building, when you first have some ideas and for commercial business, it's difficult to have a real estate guy with something good in mind that is not just to earn more money. I am working now for a company who think about doing something interesting in the city for people to change the relation with the city again so buildings don't have so many fences, so many guards.

They want this and they are trying to do things better. It moves me to work and to do something that is much more than a private house, where I can interfere in the city and try to make new ways of living and help people live better.

Current Projects For Brazilian Architect

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Alyn Griffiths: What else are you working on at the moment?

Isay Weinfeld: I think some eight or ten houses. We are doing more than ten buildings. One is starting now: its a competition that we won in Monaco for a residential building for the Royal family. It was a private competition between ten offices that we won one and a half years ago. They are now starting to build it. Another building in Montevideo in Uruguay, it's also a residential building. Three hotels, one in Brasilia and two in the state of Bahia, one in city of Salvador, the other one in Trancoso.

The client in Brasilia is private client that I designed a house for twelve years ago. They are lawyers but they love architecture. In the city of of Brasilia, it's divided in the main axis of the city, and there's a place just for hotels and they have the last lot for a hotel in Brasilia. They called me to design a huge executive hotel that's very well designed, that we are doing. It's 300 rooms and will be ready next year. There are many other things including two houses in Miami and a house in the Carribbean, and I'm starting something here in New York also.


To read the entire interview, you can see it on Dezeen!