MCAA Interview with Architect Morris Adjmi: Materiality Launch Event

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In architecture, the materials used are just as important as the design. Morris Adjmi, an architect with a background from New Orleans and Italy, brings a unique view to modern architecture. He has learned a lot from his experiences abroad and from working with the famous architect Aldo Rossi.

Recently, Adjmi talked about his work on the book "Materiality," which looks at new ways to use materials in buildings. He is especially interested in bricks, a basic but long-lasting material. “It was pretty easy for me to get excited about it and take a look at different ways that bricks can be used or interpreted,” said Adjmi. He pointed out that bricks are sustainable, which is often overlooked today.

Adjmi is also looking forward to a panel discussion on April 8th, where various architectural firms will present their projects that focus on using materials in sustainable ways. “We're gonna let the architects tell us a little bit about the project and then there'll be a little bit of a q&a to prompt some additional discussion,” he explained. This event will show how choosing the right materials can make buildings better for the environment.

Although not involved in the Architect Collaboration Program yet, Adjmi is excited about its goals. The program aims to make brick manufacturing greener by reducing the energy needed and using less wasteful materials. “Taking waste out of the system and putting it into a brick... in terms of sustainability the best thing that we can do is build buildings that are durable and last, and I think bricks certainly contribute to that in the long run,” he shared, recalling the ancient brick buildings he saw in Venice.

Adjmi also appreciates simpler, less noticeable buildings like small townhouses. These buildings might not be famous but are important to the look and feel of cities. “These buildings contribute profoundly to the fabric of cities with their surprising architectural details,” he noted.

Adjmi has advice for young architects: travel. He believes that seeing the world and experiencing different cultures is the best way to learn. “Seeing different cultures and experiencing them firsthand is the best way to learn,” he advised, stressing the importance of real experiences over digital ones.

As the field of architecture continues to evolve, Morris Adjmi’s dedication to using sustainable materials, his respect for cultural history, and his advice to young architects form a story that speaks to both professionals and those interested in architecture. His approach shows that architecture is about more than just building spaces; it's about understanding materials, respecting the past, and creating lasting structures.

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