julien de smedtimages courtesy LAN architecture



designboom interviewed julien de smedt on july 3rd, 2009.



what is the best moment of the day?lunch break with friends or collaborators… 



what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?jazz, electronic, hip-hop… it’s all black 



julien de smedt interview

mermaid 2.0, 2009image courtesy jds architectssee more pictures here



do you listen to the radio?no 



what books do you have on your bedside table?I don’t read in bed… I read in cabs, trains, planes…whenever I’m on the move…right now i’m reading the new german gestaltung edited by max borka 



julien de smedt interview

holmenkollen skijump, oslo, 2007 currently under completion for the world championships 2011image courtesy jds architectssee more pictures here



do you read design / architecture / fashion magazines?not really… it’s always the same: the first 5 minutesyou’re excited by seeing ‘new’ things and the next 5 minutes you get an indigestion… 



where do you get news from?mostly newspapers… internet as well…I refuse to have a TV… 



julien de smedt interview

 waterfront for the city of rimini, italy, 2008image courtesy jds architectssee more pictures here



I assume you notice how women dress.do you have any preferences?let’s say I notice women… 



what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?I don’t walk around in hotpants and high heels… 



julien de smedt interview

 cpas low energy hausing, brussels, belgium, 2008,by de smedt & ramon architectes,image courtesy jds architects



do you have any pets?not anymore… as a kid I had cats, squirrels and even a snake! 



when you were a child, did you wantto become an architect ?as a kid I don’t remember. as a teenager I was too busy skateboarding… which in a way put me constantly in an urban context and initiated my interest in urban conditions. I decided to be an architect at 16. 



julien de smedt interview

 BE brussels administrative city, 2007. belgiumimage courtesy jds architectssee more pictures here



where do you work on your designs and projects?everywhere… i’m forced to because I travel constantly…this is something I’d like to change. I miss staying at the office. 



do you discuss your work with other architects /beside your studio ?yes… 



julien de smedt interview



julien de smedt interview

iceberg housing complex in aarhus, denmark, 2007, in collaboration with CEBRA, SeARCH and louis paillard images courtesy jds architectssee more pictures here



describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.I work on social issues… all my projects aim at activating social interactions and urban contexts… I don’t have a style per say… let’s say it’s contemporary and challenging. 



please describe an evolution in your work,from your first projects to the present day.that’s a rather demanding question… I’d like to think that we’re constantly evolving but I can also find continuity within our work… mostly I would say that I’m a little too young to have to consider the issue of evolution within my work. I have been working for only 10 years. what has evolved is our efficiency and our capacityat deciding what to do and what not to do… 



julien de smedt interview



julien de smedt interview

 mountain dwellings, 2005,in collaboration with BIG and PLOTimages courtesy jds architects



in your opinion how has the perception of architecture changed in the last decade?obviously it has changed massively…now people actually care about architecture. architects are voted the sexiest professionals by vanity readers and brad pitt makes architecture. it’s great but also generates confusion…I think the state of crisis we’re in will somehow cure that problem. the positive aspect of that new power of architects is that it will make us more instrumental in dealing with the crisis…architects are problem solvers and that capacity can now be used to its full extend. 



did it happen that you modify your buildings during development because the client wanted something different?of course it happens all the time… I believe in the client’s opinion as a positive input. the creative process shouldn’t be a lonely path… the more friction there is the better the project becomes. 



julien de smedt interview

 logistic city, towers and shopping centers, shenzhen, china, 2005 image courtesy jds architects



what project has given you the most satisfaction?I designed a large urban waterfront for the city of rimini…it was a competition that we lost to jean nouvel and even though the project is probably not going to move on due to that I’m still really convinced that we made the right proposal for the conditions given, past and future and that we would have modified it according to the citizens input… it’s a project for them and that was the most satisfying outcome of our design: to lay out a system able to mutate according to external inputs. 



who would you like to design something for?bjork, gondry, jay-z, rodney mullen…people whose personality and production amaze me…   



julien de smedt interview

 VM, 230 dwellings, 2002, completed in 2005,in collaboration with BIG and PLOTimages courtesy jds architects



is there any designer and/or architect from the past,you appreciate a lot?there’s mostly people from the past that I appreciate…john lautner, verner panton, the eames, lina bo bardi, jean prouvé, mendes da rocha, corbu (le corbusier),mies (mies van der rohe)… the list goes on 



and those still working / contemporary?nishizawa and sejima (SANAA)… 



julien de smedt interview

helsingor psychiatric hospital, denmark, 2002, completed in 2006in collaboration with BIG, PLOT, NCCcourtesy shigeru ban architects



what advice would you give to the young?work with and against preconceived borders, with and against history, be critical and knowlegeable and HAVE FUN! 



julien de smedt interview

 maritime youth house, copenhagen, denmark, completed 2004images courtesy jds architects



what are you afraid of regarding the future?I’m not afraid of the future…