FR Do we need to accept the economy of the devil to fight against the devil? Is that the question? I can’t answer. It depends on what you’re doing. Is it to clean the money? No. If it’s to use the money to show that the system is corruptible, and to show how you can use it to create an alternative – perhaps. You can refuse the economy out of principle, to say: ‘I don’t want the post-capitalist economy. I want to do my own work by myself for my own purposes’. But in that case you can’t be an architect. Mainly, we are in a field where there is intrinsically a negotiation with the devil. We are exactly in the middle of the negotiation. Sometimes, I dream to be a writer or philosopher, a profession where you can be outside. But as an architect, you have to find a more sophisticated strategy than this kind of literal romanticism of Don Quixote. You have to be inside and outside, a sort of schizophrenia.
FR We are push-and-pull with real commissions, exhibitions, teaching laboratories and lectures. The architecture field is becoming poorer and poorer, compared with the increasing sophistication of what is expected of us. We spend a lot of time working on projects, and we are not clearly paid for the sophisticated work we do. Now, architecture offices are relying on the work of interns to produce sophisticated work – it’s slavery. Why are we using interns to produce work for capitalism, while at the same time we try to fight capitalism? It’s contradictory. It’s not only us – it’s a widespread problem. To be an architect is to reveal this contradiction, to make it visible.
I think the way R&Sie(n) operates is an excellent model to follow.
|Hybrid Muscle (2003) Chiang Mai|