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Interview with Paulo Brazil E Sant Anna

Home > Designer Interviews > Paulo Brazil E Sant Anna

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Paulo Brazil E Sant Anna (PBESA) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Paulo Brazil E Sant Anna by clicking here.

Interview with Paulo Brazil E Sant Anna at Friday 31st of May 2019
Paulo Brazil Esteves Sant Anna
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
PBESA: Since my childhood, I have been interested in the area of humanities, more precisely in music and arts. Living with my family’s artists, scientists and my great-uncle Álvaro Vital Brazil, one of the pioneers of modern architecture in Brazil, has favoured the choice of my area of expertise. Through experience and observation, intuitively, I was able to realize the dialectical process between art and technique in the area of Architecture. Coexisting and studying with important Brazilian architects and artists, have allowed me to establish a clearer vision of the difficulties, perseverance and different paths they have followed in the professional panorama of Brazilian architecture. During my undergraduate course, studying the History of Art and Architecture, the life and work of important architects of various historical periods, was an important step for the accomplishment of my post-graduation in “Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitetctura de Barcelona” which opened a new path for reflections in the academic and professional spheres, during which I did several doctorate courses with renowned architects and professors, such as: Juan Bassegoda Nonell, Aldo Rossi and Eduardo Subirats. During that period, the great incentive to continue my work was the “Matricula de Honor”, which I received at the University with the Thesis “Poema Arquitectonico” for the Chair of Semiology of Architectonic Graphic Expression taught by PhD Architect Professor Miguel Garcia Lisón, making possible new opportunities for improvement, such as internship with architects LLuis Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner in Expiatory Temple of Sagrada Família to select symbolic drawings by Gaudí in preparation of Project and Catalog for the Exhibition “Les Dressanes - 100 years of the Holy Family”. I believe these are the relevant points that encouraged me to start a journey in the profession I have chosen as Urbanist Architect.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PBESA: Through reflection on the historical factors that guided the process of architectural production in the last century, we have sought to study and formulate performance guidelines to help us in the elaboration of projects to adapt to the new determinants of the 21st century, involving cultural, socio-environmental, technological and ecological issues.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PBESA: The definition of Brazilian architect João Batista Villanova Artigas, in his essay for the inaugural lecture given at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo/FAU-USP in 1967, entitled “The Drawing” clearly illustrates the word “Design – Desire, Purpose, Intention”, a reflection on the production of knowledge and form of thinking relations between art and technique in the course of history. It is in this sense that we understand the importance of a performance of humanistic character. In difficult times like the one we are now living, I believe one of the most relevant aspects, concerning Architecture, is the need to care for social and environmental issues with respect and ethics.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PBESA: We have developed projects in several areas. From social and environmental projects to industrial projects. What has attracted us is the process that enables us to apply our conceptual beliefs regarding new conceptualizations of spaces from understanding the historical moment in which we are living, taking into account technical needs, ecological and environmental preservation, social issues and changing habits and customs.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PBESA: In order to characterize a favourite design in the scope of architecture, I see the work of Frank Lloyd Wright as exemplary. A real landmark. A poem described through drawing in the integration of his works to the territory, visible in its striking horizontal lines and in the understanding of the social transformations of the last century. A humanist aesthetic applied to Industrialization.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PBESA: After three years of autonomous activity, we started the office with the design of residential buildings. Subsequently, we performed more effectively in the area of urban infrastructure, a fact that has gradually enabled us to apply some concepts that were unusual in the means of engineering. Multidisciplinary projects with joint activities with professionals from different areas of knowledge.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PBESA: All designs begin with handmade sketches where I try to exhaust, through drawing, the aesthetic / formal possibilities in search of synthesis for the demand and for the diverse variables involved in the process. In this sense, creation is directly related to configuration of spaces, concomitantly, analysis of form and volumetry. From the moment I mentally configure the set, mastery of volumetry is sufficient to begin developing a project.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PBESA: When the demands force us to leave the comfort zone. To seek paths, through reflection, for the challenges presented.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PBESA: Understanding the historical moment may be the first step to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PBESA: The appropriate architectural response to the challenges of a particular program in a given historical period.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PBESA: The challenge of finding solutions that could improve life quality and privilege the socio-environmental aspects, as well as the need for constant questioning at each step of the design process. Starting with the program of needs, the various scales involved, structural / formal issues and the use of appropriate materials, aiming at valuing culture, uses and customs in constant transformation.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PBESA: In the difficult times we are living, at times even sombre, full of transformations of all sorts, it is necessary to follow even more humanized paths to improve social well-being through the analysis and discernment of socio-environmental, cultural and social transformations, as well as other aspects that surround us, aiming at a social policy that can understand the diversity of ideas and favor the inclusion of minority groups, historically less favored and excluded.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
PBESA: I am Brazilian. Our cultural heritage is directly related to the indigenous peoples from the territory later designated as "Brazil" by the colonizers. Their legacy has helped us understand nature, and has influenced our design through the importance of diversity and the people who caringly and lovingly look after the environment, in their relation with nature and community life.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PBESA: The functions of the house are others, man is another, the conditions are others. In the context of the last century marked by industrialization Le Corbusier defined housing in his famous phrase – “the house is a machine for living in”, he influenced modernist design with the establishment of a new aesthetic, appropriate to the uses and customs of that moment. However, today the conditions are others: sustainability, low energy and environmental impact, social responsibility are the watchwords. We live in a media world marked by the third wave, with uses and customs under transformation, and marked by the real need to reduce energy impacts. What we have idealized as future is the “today under transformation”.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PBESA: Analysis and evaluation of all variables involved in the process, so that from this point we can establish the synthesis of an idea.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
PBESA: Questionings are always needed. A good design starts with reflection.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PBESA: We have accomplished several important projects. However, one of the most relevant was PUMA Project, an industrial complex of extreme complexity that involved Architecture and Urbanism from its inception. The possibility of dialogue with our time was the challenge, and in this context, the predominant aesthetic from the physical-environmental point of view was the establishment of a spatial hierarchy where nothing is the main issue, but everything is systematically networked, whether the production process, or whether in the areas, conventionally designated as: non-process areas, where human presence is a fundamental part of good industrial performance. This sentence by Brazilian writer Rubem Alves synthesizes the idea: "What I sought was not only the aesthetics of the outside spaces, it was the poetic spaces inside”.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PBESA: Klabin S.A., CMPC Celulose Rio Grandense, Fibria Celulose and private clients.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PBESA: To continue developing projects that could instigate us both for simplicity and for complexity.

FS: How can people contact you?
PBESA: http://www.paulobrazilarquitetura.com.br/


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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