Thursday, April 16, 2009
Objects moving in time & space: Architect Fernanda Vuilleumier
I met Fernanda Vuilleumier while she was attending CCA, studying architecture, and we were both living in Hayes Valley. Over many a strong cup of Blue Bottle coffee, I heard about her work and interest in sustainable design. Coffee talk completed, she'd get back on her motorcycle and back to the studio. Post-graduation, post meeting the love of her life and moving out of the US, Fernanda is fulfilling her vision in both her native home of Mexico, and now Patagonia and Santiago, Chile, working at Emerging Studio FV and on renewable energy projects and homes, the Latin America Laboratory Network she co-founded, and continuing to live LIFE very big. We caught up a bit by email.
Q What led you to be an architect?
FV I have two reasons: First, I love the object moving in time and space as a conceptual thought. Second, my mother is an architect. So I think the influence comes from the family.
Q Who are your biggest influences?
FV Architecture beyond 'The Renewable Energy.' Buildings should not be considered as solid objects. It's profoundly important to understand how they're connected to the ground and sky and how they're connected to the culture in the area. In terms of technological connections or connections to the culture of technology. This means making a building that thinks for itself, analogous to the way a human body functions. [The building] more then uses renewable energy. [i] produces and uses, as something that has life, and is not merely an object, "architecture'
Q What was a pivotal moment in your career?
FV I have two: First, 2004-2007. I enjoyed being at CCA California College of the Arts San Francisco, getting my Masters in Architecture. However, at the studio was my moment, my encouragement.
Second, 2008-2009, living for 10 months in Southern Patagonia, Chile [and] working on two- house projects. The visual stimulation and the no-scale of the landscape, was for me, a blast. Inspiration.
Q What's inspiring you now?
FV Nature. The landscape of Southern Patagonia, Chile and living life.
Q What are you working on?
FV Following dreams. Life. Architecture in concept, process and projects.
Q Do you think you will stay working in Mexico/South America?
FV My recent work is in Patagonia, Chile. [After that] my wish is to [continue working on] LAALAB.net. (Latin America Laboratory Network) It is a network-based laboratory for the critical exploration of new tendencies by Artists and Designers from the Latin American community all over the world. LAALAB.org is a non-profit research laboratory composed of a multidisciplinary team of professionals and students seeking to improve the human condition in Latin American countries through the application of sustainable design. We focus on re-defining applications of low-tech and high-tech engineering using high-performance design-materials & -methods. We will establish an online community for progressive-design oriented professionals, educators, students and fans.
And, I'll continue with my studies, pursue the application 2009-2010 PHD @ Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile/ Arquitectura y Estudios Urbanos. [And] hopefully LAALAB will work in Latin America.
Q Any other thoughts?
FV What a Life !!!!!!!!!!