interview with architect jurgen mayer h.
 
interview with architect jurgen mayer h.
aug 20, 2014

interview with architect jurgen mayer h.

jurgen mayer h. photographed by paul green

 

 

 

jürgen mayer h. founded his berlin-based studio, J. MAYER H. in 1996. its work covers everything from urban planning schemes and buildings to installations and objects. jürgen’s work has been published and exhibited worldwide. he told designboom about his fascination with envelope patterns and love for contemporary classical music.

 

 

designboom: what originally made you want to become an architect?

 

jürgen mayer h. : when I was 16 years old, I saw a photo of erich mendelsohn’s now demolished department store ‘schocken’ in stuttgart. I was already interested in sculptures and art work that you can walk through and walk around. that photo however triggered an excitement in me to know more about architecture. I studied architecture at stuttgart university, the cooper union in new york and then at princeton university. in 1996 I founded the studio J. MAYER H..

JMAYERH_OLS_Photo_DavidFranck_01
OLS house, stuttgart, germany
photo by david franck

 

JMAYERH_OLS_Photo_DavidFranck_02
OLS house, stuttgart, germany
photo by david franck
see more about this project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: how would you describe your architectural approach?

 

JMH: our studio, focuses on works that are at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. one major investment in our work is looking at expanding the material of architecture, beyond say just building material. the influence of new media and new materials now expands our understanding of ‘space’ as a platform for communication and sociocultural interactivity. we look closely at the site, critically rethink the program and try to extract something that is special to the specific location. we believe that architecture should work as an activator to move people from a passive mode of expectation to an involved level of participation and attention.

 

 

DB: who or what has been the biggest single influence on your work?

 

JMH: contemporary classical music and architects such as frederick kiesler are among the biggest influences – along with many others.

http://www.jmayerh.de/files/jmayerh_hasselt_rrichter_0013.jpg
hasselt court of justice, hasselt, belgium
photo by philippe van gelooven

 

interview with architect jurgen mayer h.
hasselt court of justice, hasselt, belgium
see more about this project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: what do you consider your strongest skill to be?

 

JMH: thankfully patience and curiosity are good companions of mine.

 

 

DB: do you draw often?

 

JMH: I work with all kinds of media, designing and experimenting with physical models, drawing by hand, working on the computer and sometimes just taking a walk in the woods.

 

 

Reststop01
gas station, gori, georgia
photo by jesko malkolm johnsson-zahn

 

Reststop02 
gas station with supermarkets, farmers’ markets and exhibitions for arts and crafts.
photo by jesko malkolm johnsson-zahn
see more about this project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: how do you think online resources have influenced architecture?

 

JMH: communicating and mediating architecture – both built and unbuilt – has moved it to another level. it’s enhanced the exchange of ideas and has taught us how to stay critical towards ones own design process.

j. mayer h.: rapport   experimental spatial structures
‘rapport’ experimental spatial structures exhibition at berlinische galerie, berlin, germany
photo by ludger paffrath

 

 

 

interview with architect jurgen mayer h.
‘rapport’ at berlinische galerie, berlin, germany
see more about this project on designboom here
photo by ludger paffrath

 

 

 

DB: what are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?

 

JMH: I have a huge collection of patterns that are found on the inside of envelopes – data-protection patterns. I have about 300-400 different patterns now, and I’m planning to archive them properly. we published a selection of them as a source book with hatje cantz called ‘wirrwarr‘, a kind of found-object book. I’m still collecting them and the pile is growing all the time.

parasol_franck0409
metropol parasol, seville, spain
photo by david franck

 

parasol_franck0860
metropol parasol, seville, spain
photo by david franck

 

interview with architect jurgen mayer h.
the metropol parasol while under construction
photo by fernando alda
see more about this project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: what are you passionate about besides your work?

 

JMH: right now it’s the music of conlon nancarrow – a composer who lived in mexico city.

 

 

DB: what do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?

 

JMH: it’s good to know that you never really know – that applies to the present, the future and the past.

BorderCheckpoint02_Jesko-Johnsson-Zahn
border checkpoint, sarpi, georgia
photo by jesko johnsson zahn

 

BorderCheckpoint01_Jesko-Johnsson-Zahn 
border checkpoint, sarpi, georgia
photo by jesko johnsson zahn
see more about this project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: what’s your personal motto?

 

JMH: that’s personal!

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