founded in hamburg in 2015, architects, not architecture (AnA) aims to bring to the stage what usually remains unseen. for each event, AnA invites well-known architects to talk about themselves, rather than the projects they may be known for. architects are encouraged to speak about their path, their influences, and their experiences, and to dive deeper into their intellectual biography. this enables a better understanding of their work, without it even being mentioned.


during the COVID-19 pandemic, AnA has moved online and has planned a series of virtual events — the third of which featured stefano boeri and sou fujimoto. as the event’s main media partner, designboom is now sharing the event in full below.



watch stefano boeri’s talk as part of architects, not architecture’s virtual event
videos courtesy of architects, not architecture | lead image by irene osei-poku



italian architect stefano boeri is perhaps best known for his integration of nature within his designs. his ‘vertical forest’ typology, which was first realized in milan, is to be replicated in other cities around the world, including nanjing and cairo.


in his talk, boeri discusses the people and buildings that have inspired and influenced him throughout his life. he explains his experience of visiting louis kahn’s salk institute as a child, with his mother, architect and designer cini boeri. ‘just walking in this mega-space and feeling the presence of the ocean without directly seeing it, I had the first encounter with the universe of architecture.’ he remembers how immensely impressed he was by this exceptional building and how it changed his view on architecture: ‘you can express worlds that are not immediately present. this capacity of architecture, to work through symbols and inspiration and invisible energies, is something that I perceived in the louis kahn building and it was very strong.’ watch the talk in full above.



 sou fujimoto then gave a talk before the two architects entered into a joint discussion



japanese architect sou fujimoto is known for his light structures and permeable enclosures, including the 2013 serpentine pavilion. however, before deciding to become an architect, fujimoto was more interested in physics and mathematics. ‘I was fascinated by how such a simple theory explained the wonderful complexity of the world and how the beauty of mathematics and the beauty of physics could integrate such a diverse phenomenon,’ he explains.


fujimoto remembers the impression a photo book of antonio gaudí’s work made on him. 
’I didn’t know about architecture before that. I just recognized a building was a building, but through this book, I realized architecture is one of the creative activities.’ he also speaks about the relationship between nature an architecture, comparing his upbringing in the peaceful countryside of the japanese island, hokkaido, with living in dense metropolises like tokyo and paris. watch sou fujimoto’s talk, followed by a discussion with the two architects, above.


stay tuned as architects, not architecture continues with its ongoing series of events.