Since setting up her own architectural practice in 2009, the Madrid- and London-based Parreño has been busy designing buildings around the world, as well as teaching design at the MIT School of Architecture + Planning in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here, we catch up with Parreño...
Wallpaper*: Can you tell us about your installation?
Cristina Parreño: The installation is an attempt to capture movement in a still construction. The project pays homage to Étienne-Jules Marey’s 1882 chronophotographic gun. It could take 12 consecutive frames a second and record the frames on the same picture, which allowed Marey to conduct studies of the movement of living beings and abstract forms. The installation envisions the reconstruction of those images back to reality, the idea being that the movement of an element is represented by the repetition of that same object in different positions. A series of lines constructed by translucent tubes play with light and space to produce the illusion of movement around the Lexus IS.
W*: Is there a correlation between car design and building design?
CP: The car industry has always attracted the interest of architects. During the modernist movement, in particular, architects glorified motor vehicles for their functional beauty and modern manufacturing processes. The building industry, which is primarily ‘customised’, started to be thought of in terms of ‘mass production’, a concept that belonged to the car industry and which was espoused by Le Corbusier. There are important correlations between car and building design in that both have to deal with issues of technology, function, structure, efficiency and aesthetics. However, the car industry has been able to adapt faster to the advances of technology because of its relation to mass-market economies. The building industry should learn how to integrate design and technology from the car industry.
W*: What elements of the Lexus ‘amazing control’ concept did you find inspiring?
CP: Power and efficiency in perfect balance speaks about strength and precision, about structure and equilibrium. Those are very architectural ideas that suggest the possibility that structure and performance are integrated.