19: Rethinking a Life in Architecture with Javier Sánchez
This week we talk with Javier Sánchez, developer, architect and founder of JSa architectural firm, with offices in Mexico City and in Peru. We interrogate the state of contemporary practice in Mexico, the role of Modernism, and the power of transformation in architecture. We discuss with Javier family legacy, time, and innovation as the son and grandson of architects and forging his own path in the design world. And we examine the role of personal change and the role of running in rethinking architectural practice.
2:17 In the shadows of masters: the complexity of being in and performing in the world
5:11 “Time has to prove that you have done something good, or maybe not. But it’s only time. Architecture is, I think, about time.”
5:48 The son and grandson of architects and the building of modern Mexico
7:48 Teaching at Kansas State University, a transformative time
9:40 A paradox of developer-architect
11:12 “We are a species grappling with what is best for humans and what is best for capital.”
13:10 The transformative power of running
16:08 A cross-generational imagining of a radical future
17:01 Nature and landscape from the perspective of Peruvian Chasqui, Mexican Tarahumara runners, and 100k Andes marathon in Peru
20:58 Roman saying: mens sana in corpore sano
24:56 “Is ‘liking’ a building the same as experiencing a meta-state of the kind that one achieves in running?”
25:08 Tears and Japanese temples
25:52 “This is the place of the house”: subtlety, scale, a chair by a window and the Fisher house
29:12 “You have to decide what you do and what you don’t, and I think ‘what you don’t’ is the biggest of them. But once you decide what you do, you have to follow that and continue on with that passion until you find the next chain that is the puzzle that is your life.”
30:44 “You have to stop thinking”: meditation and the practice of an architect
32:06 Cultural connections between Mexico and India; Satish Gujral and Octavio Paz
34:10 Ways of knowing the world: modernism, meditation, extreme running...
35:02 Mexican modernism, Le Corbusier, Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon, influences from the North and West, and Pre-Columbian indigenous aesthetics and ways of being
37:52 Xochimilco, water, and and orientation to nature and memory
41:34 Water faucets in Rome
42:02 Mexico, big problem with water
44:40 Digital vs hand work
46:14 Storytelling as a design tool: architect friend Sebastian Mariscal
47:12 “Architectures of not thinking?”; Ginkaku-ji pavilion in Japan
50:20 Corbusier: room in corridor at atelier was a windowless room. A silencing. Kahn and silence and light. This as an architectural thinking.
51:17 Pre-Columbian Teotihuacan
56:38 What is architectural teaching for you? What is pedagogy in a studio?