‘what is architecture?’ this simple question fascinated luca de giorgi and julie marthe hoffmann so much that in 2013 they interviewed their professors at the university of innsbruck to find an answer. this was the beginning of a project that would later become a long-running video series titled ‘what is architecture?’, or ‘WIA’. since 2013, de giorgi and hoffmann have been joined by olaf h. grawert and erik czejka, with other supporters contributing from all over the world — from los angeles to indonesia. over the past seven years, the team has posed four simple questions to more than 90 architects — including ma yansong, odile decq, and moon hoon.


ma yansong — MAD architects



to learn an architect’s opinion on what architecture is and what it can do WIA asks four questions: what is architecture?; what can architecture do?; what is your architectural position?; and what is your design method?. WIA says that its goal is to provide clear and concise information about architecture from the viewpoints of contemporary protagonists in the field, thus forming a panoramic view of today’s architectural thinking.



odile decq — studio odile decq



the interviews are filmed as a single shot with minimal editing. as the same four questions are asked each time, the resulting monologues turn into dialogues when put in relation to each other. the series offers an insight into the work of each architect as well as their personality, while the variety of positions demonstrates architecture’s incredible amplitude of thought. watch interviews with some of the architects on this page, and see the full collection on WIA’s website and vimeo channel.



moon hoon


lina ghotmeh — lina ghotmeh architecture


marcio kogan — studio MK27


nathalie de vries and jacob van rijs — MVRDV



project info:


name: WIA – what is architecture?
established: 2013
contributions: 91 interviews from 1:38 – 28:08 minutes
languages: english, german, french, and indonesian
concept: luca de giorgi, julie marthe hoffmann
editors: julie marthe hoffmann, luca de giorgi, olaf h. grawert, erik czejka
team – south east asia: ariefina marta rahmavani, nashrisaf muhammad resal, muhammad ridhwan yusfianda
supported by: veronika acher, alexa baumgartner, gabor kocsis, johanna lehmann, gregor loewit, josef mallaun, martin neugebauer, markus rampl