Name: Guto Requena
Where do you live: São Paulo, Brazil
Known for: Shaping memories.
Currently working with: Design, writing and curating.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this?
Since very young my favorite play was drawing houses and creating cabanas made with bed sheets. When I was a kid I frequently used to change places of furniture and objects in my room, creating different themes and atmospheres, using color lights and drawing on the walls. I had an amazing bucolic childhood in the country side of Sao Paulo State, at my parents farm, hiding horses, playing around with many animals as cows, dogs, turtles, ducks, peacocks, parrots and the craziest and exotic birds my father collected. Nature was pretty much an important part of my childhood.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
São Paulo and its creative and fresh energy. So many problems here, as violence and social differences. An unfinished and chaotic metropolis with many hidden beauties. Being an architect in Sao Paulo at this moment brings opportunities to collaborate in the construction of a new society, exploring urban experiments and changing realities. São Paulo is a unique laboratory for urban/design/art.
How would you describe your creativity?
I’m obsessed with making tangible the intangible, with visualizing subjectivities; on bring to life ideas of sustainable affection. I’m intrigued with experimenting with digital technologies and handcrafts to shape memories, to narrate stories trough design. My creativity is directly related to my observation on simple and daily things.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
2 years after I finished my master studies on the theme of Interactive Architecture, I founded EstudioGutoRequena. In 2010 I developed my first interactive environment, a set design installation inside SescPompeia (a relevant Lina Bo Bardi building in Sao Paulo). My installation, a stimulable membrane, reacted trough movement and noise produced by the audience in the building, changing it colors as response. Feeling this emotional space coming to life had such an impact on me.
What do you do at the moment?
I run my studio, working in the fields of design, architecture and urbanism. I also teach, write for my column at newspaper Folha de São Paulo and create TV shows. It doesn’t matter the scale of my projects or the nature of its media, the central connection is how to design a more humanized and organic world by the investigation with numeric technologies.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Save money to travel and experience the world.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The people you work with.
What is your favorite film?
I love cinema. If I were not an architect I would definitely be a filmmaker. So many movies I like, one that recently got me is “Interstellar” (from Director Cristopher Nolan). Time is such an incredible subject right?
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Iánnis Xenákis, Steve Jobs, Lina Bo Bardi, Edgard Morin, Michael Jackson, Yves Saint Laurent, Kurt Cobain, Van Gogh, William Gibson, Edwin Abbot Abbot, Buckminster Fuller… WTF!!! That would the coolest never ending dinner of all times!!!!!!!!!
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Travelling around as much as possible. Going to beaches and waterfalls.
What is luxury for you?
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
From my 65 years old student. During one-year design class she became so much more self-confident. She bought her first smart phone, learned how to use a computer and got her first email and Facebook account. At her last day of my course she cried telling how important it was discovering new worlds and how her relation with her grandsons changed for better. That was touching.
What do you fear most?
Colorful jumper uber-poison Spiders.
What is a happy life to you?
Is about simple things. Less material, less products, less things. Visiting new places and being with the people I love. Easy and chill like this.
What does a regular day look like for you?
Coffee > gym > email > biking to work > lunch > work work work > biking back home > reading and/or watching a movie while eating > sleeping tight with my boyfriend.
Tell us about your dream project.
Hacking the city: Attaching elements in abandoned parts of buildings/places, to create real time non-expensive changes. Such as interactive interfaces with data visualization, creating new urban identities, safer, humanistic, greener and better places to live. I’m working on this idea and how to make it work.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
My grandmother, an 88-year-old Yoga and English professor.
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
Native-tropical-cyber-hungry-for-love-urban-guerrilla-memory-shaper and city-hacker.
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
What inspires you?
Bits and nature.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
One hundred years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez.