In The News
Lecture by Hani Rashid at LACMA on Thursday Oct. 5 , 2000 at 700 PM.
By: Mark Vaghei AIA
Hani Rashid is the Principal of his own firm Asymptote Architecture. His
partner is Lise Anne Couture. Their repertoire of works range between
experimental installations, computer generated environments, building designs
and urban planning.
Most recently, they designed a large scale VR environment for the NYSE and a "Theater of operations" located on the historic trading floor. Asymptote is currently designing a virtual museum for the Guggenheim and office systems for Knoll.
When Asked if he any longer considers himself an architect as we traditionally know it, he said, sometimes he does not, he considers himself a "spatial Engineer". However, he sees the Architects as the best qualified professionals to attack the engineering of space as their knowledge is very broad based. As a result of this apparent rupture that exist between traditional Architectural office and his new digital..what he calls "paperless Studio"..he has created "asymptote virtual" which deals with projects that grapple with Virtual Environments. Obviously, he said "the pay scale in the two operations are quite different"
When asked, what he thinks the future of the VR is. He responded by saying that he believes that in the future there will be a fusing of the two worlds of Reality and Virtuality. In fact, the NYSE asked Asymptote to construct their virtual model in the real world of the exchange. He also believes that the reality part of VR will be far beyond animation and lighted walls and "Video Skins". Asymptote has recently been approached to take the American Constitution into the Virtual World. This according to Rashid presents a completely new challenge to Asymptote.
When asked what type of Hardware and Software they use. He responded by saying that they want to get service out of the software and it does not matter to them. They have used Softimage, Maya, Microstation, Premier and other software thats traditionally used by Industrial Designers and Moviemakers.
In their recent project in Japan, they are thinking of the building as an Industrial Design Object, designed with the same parameters and thinking process in mind and when seen, it invokes a sense in the viewer that this object has been seen before in everyday life.
Hani Rashid believes that by exploring in Virtual Reality, it makes you more aware of reality which sensitizes one to the issues of "spatial Engineering"
Hani Rasheed is along with Robert Ivy of Architectural Record and David Childs of SOM/NY on this years' AIA Awards Jury.
Overall, I thought that the lecture was great eventhough it lacked audiovisuals due to technical difficulties. This infact caused Hani to verbalize his projects in a way which he had never done before which got our imagination going in all directions. I thought, it is very interesting how he has been able to investigate this sort of "experimentalism" outside of the Academic context and as a business and actually succeed at it. His work is defintley worthy of attention. I encourage everyone to research more about Asymptote as their "militancy" as Rashid calls it in tackling this rolm is commendable.
Mark Vaghei is a registered architects and practices architecture mostly in Los Angeles area.. He can be reached at : (310)289-8481
Address: atelier V architecture: 261 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, USA
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