Amazing Things Architects Make When They Arent Architecting

Nothing in architecture happens quickly. Designing a building takes ages, and actually building it longer still. That can frustrate architects, who havean almost compulsive need to design and create. Many of them turn to fields as diverse asfilmmaking and boatbuilding to spur creativity, develop ideas, and hone skills. It helps that they’re already good at three-dimensional thinking and digital manipulation. “If you pull yourself away, it opens your mind to new things,” says Pilar Proffitt of Poesis, and architecture firm that also designs, ahem, architectural furniture.

Furniture

Architects love designing chairs, and the best of them have penned some classics. Marcel Breuer’s Wassilly, Le Corbusier’sLC2 Petit Modele, and Eero Saarinen’s Womb come to mind. And then there’s the late Zaha Hadid, whose liquid aesthetic resulted ingorgeous chairs.UltraStellar, her final collection for David Gill Gallery, seems to defy physics. Wood and plastic twist and flow in a single line throughout each piece.
 

Credit: Martin Slivka

Architects love designing chairs, and the best of them have penned some classics. Marcel Breuer’s Wassilly, Le Corbusier’sLC2 Petit Modele, and Eero Saarinen’s Womb come to mind. And then there’s the late Zaha Hadid, whose liquid aesthetic resulted ingorgeous chairs.UltraStellar, her final collection for David Gill Gallery, seems to defy physics. Wood and plastic twist and flow in a single line throughout each piece.
 

Jewelry

Los Angeles architect Jenny Wu uses CNC milling and 3-D printing to create intricate jewelry fashioned from precious metals and composite materials. She draws inspiration from nature to create mesmerizing interlocking forms that resemble teardrops, insects, and fossils. Celebrities like Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, and Christina Aguilera have worn Wu’s work, which she likens to “architecture on the body.”

Credit: Lace

Los Angeles architect Jenny Wu uses CNC milling and 3-D printing to create intricate jewelry fashioned from precious metals and composite materials. She draws inspiration from nature to create mesmerizing interlocking forms that resemble teardrops, insects, and fossils. Celebrities like Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, and Christina Aguilera have worn Wu’s work, which she likens to “architecture on the body.”

Film

Architects in Hollywood do more than design sets. They create entire digital worlds. Outfits likeFactory 15 craft mind-warping visions of disintegrating cities and robots taking over a factory. Ben West is even quirkier. The stars ofFugu and Tako turninto sushi … and then things get really weird. In Other Half, the protagoniststruggles with a torso and legs that each have distinct personalities.

Architects in Hollywood do more than design sets. They create entire digital worlds. Outfits likeFactory 15 craft mind-warping visions of disintegrating cities and robots taking over a factory. Ben West is even quirkier. The stars ofFugu and Tako turninto sushi … and then things get really weird. In Other Half, the protagoniststruggles with a torso and legs that each have distinct personalities.

Video Games

Video game designers create worlds, which makes the medium a natural for architects. You’ll find their work in blockbuster titles likeGrand Theft AutoandLA Noire, and a growing number of them are developing their own games.Block’hood byJose Sanchezriffs onSim City and Minecraft to create sustainable cities usingecological designslike windmills, living rooftops, and solar panels.

Credit: Jose Sanchez

Video game designers create worlds, which makes the medium a natural for architects. You’ll find their work in blockbuster titles likeGrand Theft AutoandLA Noire, and a growing number of them are developing their own games.Block’hood byJose Sanchezriffs onSim City and Minecraft to create sustainable cities usingecological designslike windmills, living rooftops, and solar panels.

Toys

Debi van Zyl started designing oddly adorable stuffed beasts in 2006. Her hand-knitted wool beasts are all the more lovable because of theirincredible strangeness. Are they cuddly aliens? Colorful octopi? Hammerhead sharks? Frogs? Picasso-inspired nightmares? Yes.Shes also created larger beast pillows and, of course, a beast coloring book.

Credit: Debi van Zuyl

Debi van Zyl started designing oddly adorable stuffed beasts in 2006. Her hand-knitted wool beasts are all the more lovable because of theirincredible strangeness. Are they cuddly aliens? Colorful octopi? Hammerhead sharks? Frogs? Picasso-inspired nightmares? Yes.Shes also created larger beast pillows and, of course, a beast coloring book.

Sculpture/ Installation

LA architects Ball-Nogues have made their name creating eclectic, sculpturally-complex sculptures and pavilions around the world. Pulp Pavilion, a series of intertwined, tree-like forms made of cured paper pulp, soared over Coachella in 2015.

Credit: Chris Ball

LA architects Ball-Nogues have made their name creating eclectic, sculpturally-complex sculptures and pavilions around the world. Pulp Pavilion, a series of intertwined, tree-like forms made of cured paper pulp, soared over Coachella in 2015.

Fashion

Architecture and fashion share a focus on structure, proportion, and style, so it’s only natural that an architect like Julia Koerner would be a natural at designing clothing. Her3D-printed clothingand collaborations with haute couture designers weave fabric, plastic, and silicon to createornate, sexy styles that bring to mind flora and fauna. Several worksincorporate scanned natural artifacts, like kelp found on the beach in Malibu for Kelp Jacket.

Credit: Ger Ger for SCHON

Architecture and fashion share a focus on structure, proportion, and style, so it’s only natural that an architect like Julia Koerner would be a natural at designing clothing. Her3D-printed clothingand collaborations with haute couture designers weave fabric, plastic, and silicon to createornate, sexy styles that bring to mind flora and fauna. Several worksincorporate scanned natural artifacts, like kelp found on the beach in Malibu for Kelp Jacket.

Music

If avant-garde architecture has a soundtrack, it was composed by architect and DJClaus Voigtmann, c0-founder of London underground venuetoi.toi.Musik. Like the most adventurous buildings, his music is layered, futuristic, and haunting. Voigtman, who has performed in several European cities, begandj-ingwhile working on his architectural thesis. “It helped to get up from the computer and reset the brain,” he said.

If avant-garde architecture has a soundtrack, it was composed by architect and DJClaus Voigtmann, c0-founder of London underground venuetoi.toi.Musik. Like the most adventurous buildings, his music is layered, futuristic, and haunting. Voigtman, who has performed in several European cities, begandj-ingwhile working on his architectural thesis. “It helped to get up from the computer and reset the brain,” he said.

Food

Natasha Case and Freya Estreller love ice cream as much as they love architecture, and combined the two in Coolhaus. Everything they do combines a delicious flavor with a famous architect to create hilarious puns like Bananas Norman Foster and Frank Behry. They’ve created an empire of ice cream, with trucks, storefronts, books, merchandising, and nationwide distribution. “Architecture is very much about creativity and almost art—but within constraints; I really believe entrepreneurship and doing business successfully is just like that,” says Case.

Credit: Coolhaus

Natasha Case and Freya Estreller love ice cream as much as they love architecture, and combined the two in Coolhaus. Everything they do combines a delicious flavor with a famous architect to create hilarious puns like Bananas Norman Foster and Frank Behry. They’ve created an empire of ice cream, with trucks, storefronts, books, merchandising, and nationwide distribution. “Architecture is very much about creativity and almost art—but within constraints; I really believe entrepreneurship and doing business successfully is just like that,” says Case.

Wallpaper

Anonymous Architects have taken wallpaper to a newlevel with Peeling, a line that appears to be, yes, peeling but in a digital, artsy way. Anonymous founder Simon Storey likens the paper to an archaeological discovery where layers of history have been carefully removedto discover what lies beneath. “The contrast betweenthe ephemeralnature of trendy decoration and the permanence of the architecture is the lasting memory,” he says.

Credit: Simon Storey

Anonymous Architects have taken wallpaper to a newlevel with Peeling, a line that appears to be, yes, peeling but in a digital, artsy way. Anonymous founder Simon Storey likens the paper to an archaeological discovery where layers of history have been carefully removedto discover what lies beneath. “The contrast betweenthe ephemeralnature of trendy decoration and the permanence of the architecture is the lasting memory,” he says.

Lighting

Architects love lamps almost as much as they love chairs, and they’re often reimagining the form. Enter the Dragonby the architecture firm Bureau V features riotouswhite neon wrapped around an angularslab of black marble. Designer Peter Zuspan wanted to humble some common symbols of wealth—marble, chandeliers—by surrounding them with a a prosaic, commercial material.

Credit: Bureau V

Architects love lamps almost as much as they love chairs, and they’re often reimagining the form. Enter the Dragonby the architecture firm Bureau V features riotouswhite neon wrapped around an angularslab of black marble. Designer Peter Zuspan wanted to humble some common symbols of wealth—marble, chandeliers—by surrounding them with a a prosaic, commercial material.

Boats

Los Angeles architect Greg Lynn loves sailing, and saw his passion for the sport as an opportunity to work with composite materials. He designed a 42-foot carbon fiber trimaran, and enjoyed it so much he plans to make a business of it. I used to think that aerospace was a great place to focus my research, but it became clear that racing boats were more interesting and more affordable, saysLynn.

Credit: Adrian Gaut

Los Angeles architect Greg Lynn loves sailing, and saw his passion for the sport as an opportunity to work with composite materials. He designed a 42-foot carbon fiber trimaran, and enjoyed it so much he plans to make a business of it. I used to think that aerospace was a great place to focus my research, but it became clear that racing boats were more interesting and more affordable, saysLynn.

Carpet

After creating stunning clothing, furniture, and accessories, architect Elena Manferdini decided to give carpets a try. Her colorful Urban Fabric rugs, made withhand-woven New Zealand wool, recall subway maps or urban grids. She adapted them from a series of abstract drawings,inspired by the work of famed Modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, she created for her ArtInstitute of Chicago exhibition Building Portraits.

Credit: Atelier Manferdini

After creating stunning clothing, furniture, and accessories, architect Elena Manferdini decided to give carpets a try. Her colorful Urban Fabric rugs, made withhand-woven New Zealand wool, recall subway maps or urban grids. She adapted them from a series of abstract drawings,inspired by the work of famed Modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, she created for her ArtInstitute of Chicago exhibition Building Portraits.

Fine Art

The New York architecture firm Aranda Lasch worked with Native American artist Terrol Dew Johnson to createMeeting the Clouds Half Way, a series ofelegant coiled and woven structures that combinetraditionalmaterials like straw, grass, steel, copper, and horsehair with contemporary techniques like CNC milling. “This kind of deep and ancient legacy of design seemed like something that could really reinvigorate the discipline of architecture and contemporary design,” says Aranda Lasch principal Chris Lasch.

Credit: Aranda Lasch

The New York architecture firm Aranda Lasch worked with Native American artist Terrol Dew Johnson to createMeeting the Clouds Half Way, a series ofelegant coiled and woven structures that combinetraditionalmaterials like straw, grass, steel, copper, and horsehair with contemporary techniques like CNC milling. “This kind of deep and ancient legacy of design seemed like something that could really reinvigorate the discipline of architecture and contemporary design,” says Aranda Lasch principal Chris Lasch.

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