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Luc Schuiten is an architect. He often adds, a bit provocatively, that he is a ‘utopian’. He did not enjoy the traditional school subjects, and went to art school where he had opportunities to imagine, to work, to do something. Luc Schuiten loves nature and he speaks about architecture and the link with the nature.

Luc Schuiten

www.vegetalcity.net
luc@schuiten.be

Technical sheet of this architecture video clip
Journalist : Emma C. Dessouroux
Cameraman : Emanuel Pinto / EpiProd
Photographies : Mister Emma

Editing : Emma C. Dessouroux / Cristina Dias
Direction : Emma C. Dessouroux
Production : Les Délires Productions

Translation : Comtrans
Subtitles : Les Délires Productions

English Subtitles

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My name is Luc Schuiten,

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I am an architect, and often,
I add a « Utopian ».

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It’s a bit of a provocation,
but an architect

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is always a Utopian

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as he designs things that don’t exist

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but that he wants one day to exist.

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He never works in a hypothetical future.

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I wasn’t at all in tune
with classics in school.

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I found myself very unhappy in…

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in a place where I didn’t have

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any interest in what was going on,
I was very bored.

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And as soon as I got into

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an art school where

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you could start to imagine, to work,

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to do something.

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There I started to feel quite comfortable

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and have the desire

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to start planning

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in environments that
I could someday create.

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Architecture starts from a reflection

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that is of the planet, of nature,
of our environment.

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I try to work as best as I can with that.

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I was very touched

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very struck by the fact that

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an architect, often,
when asked to do something,

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will receive a beautiful plot of land,

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with lots of things, full of life in it.

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And the first thing he does
is destroy everything

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and then put there,

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in a very geometric order,

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some materials

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that are products of our industry

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and have nothing to do
with the environment.

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So to a certain extent, I very quickly

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saw it as vandalizing.

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My desire was
to do it completely differently.

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To use what was there.

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In line with all this, taking into account

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all of what was happening

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and working with materials
that will interact

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positively with the environment.

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I had the opportunity
to design my own house.

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At that moment, I started thinking

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how I could

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make it bioclimatic,

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before using that word, it means

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to use all the surrounding energies,

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to make it…

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come alive without

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being connected by a cable
to a nuclear power plant,

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something like that which was for me

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a major defect, compared to how I felt.

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Today we are at all on computers

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we are going more and more
towards this kind of thing.

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So,

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the architects of today, when they design

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they often design directly

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from the computer

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or from a graphic tablet.

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Why not? It’s not just a tool.

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I prefer using a pencil on paper,

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because I like pencils and I like paper.

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And the way the pencil slides on paper,

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it’s… Nothing compares to it.

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Design and all
that is implied as inaccuracy,

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as error, as deforming the space,

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are very important indications

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of what we want
and what we are aiming for.

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So for me…

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I never leave it…

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I’m not indifferent

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to errors found in the design,

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they help me to see what I imagined

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or what someone else imagined,

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behind the inaccuracy of a design.

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And I use it, to be able

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to go further

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than the first draft of the design,

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to see in which direction
it would be best to take

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the first draft.

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In general, I put it aside,

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I put it up as a poster and say,
« That was the first intention. »

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And I have to do as well as that.

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But certainly not worse.

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So I don’t want

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to degrade

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the first idea.

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And I am very

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sensitive that very often,
that’s what happens,

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we degrade it.

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We try to make it…

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try to bring it back on course,

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and it loses

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much of the potential
it had at the beginning.

French Subtitles

1
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Je suis Luc Schuiten,

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architecte, et souvent
je rajoute « utopiste ».

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C’est un peu une provocation aussi,
mais un architecte

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est toujours un utopiste

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puisqu’il dessine des choses
qui n’existent pas

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et qu’il souhaite qu’un jour cela existe.

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Il ne travaille jamais
que dans un futur hypothétique.

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Je n’étais pas du tout en phase
avec les humanités, avec l’école.

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Je me trouvais
très malheureux dans…

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dans un endroit où je n’avais pas

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d’intérêt pour ce qui s’y passait,
je m’ennuyais beaucoup.

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Et dès que je suis rentré

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dans une école d’art où

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on pouvait commencer
à imaginer, à travailler,

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à faire quelque chose.

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Là j’ai commencé à me trouver
tout à fait à l’aise

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et à avoir envie

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de commencer à projeter, projeter dans

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des environnements
que j’allais pouvoir un jour réaliser.

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L’architecture part d’une réflexion

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qui est celle de la planète, de la nature,
de notre environnement.

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J’essaie de fonctionner
le mieux possible avec cela.

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J’ai été très

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touché, très frappé par le fait

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qu’un architecte, bien souvent,
quand on lui demande

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de faire quelque chose,
il reçoit un beau terrain

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avec plein de choses, plein de vie dedans.

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Et la première chose qu’il fait,
c’est tout raser

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et puis mettre là,

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en ordre très géométrique,

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quelques matériaux

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qui proviennent de notre industrie

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et qui n’ont plus rien
à voir avec l’environnement.

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Donc dans une certaine mesure,
je l’ai très vite

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considéré comme un saccage.

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Mon envie était de procéder
complètement autrement.

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D’arriver à composer
avec ce qu’il y avait.

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En phase avec tout cela,
en tenant compte

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de l’ensemble de tout ce qui se passait

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et de travailler avec des matériaux
qui vont interagir

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de manière positive avec l’environnement.

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J’ai eu l’occasion de faire
ma propre maison.

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À ce moment-là j’ai commencé à réfléchir

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comment est-ce que je pouvais

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la rendre bio-climatique,

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avant véritablement qu’on emploie ce mot,
c’est-à-dire

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utiliser toutes
les énergies environnantes,

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pour arriver à…

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la faire vivre

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sans être reliée par un câble
à une centrale nucléaire,

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quelque chose comme ça qui était pour moi

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une aberration
par rapport à ce que je ressentais.

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Aujourd’hui on est au tout informatique

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et on va de plus en plus
vers ce genre de choses.

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Donc,

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les architectes d’aujourd’hui,
quand ils composent

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ils composent souvent directement

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depuis l’ordinateur

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ou depuis une tablette graphique.

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Pourquoi pas ? Ce n’est jamais qu’un outil.

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Moi je préfère le crayon sur le papier,

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parce que j’aime bien le crayon,
j’aime bien le papier.

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Et la manière
dont le crayon glisse sur le papier,

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c’est… Rien n’est comparable.

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Le dessin et tout ce que cela comporte
comme imprécisions,

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comme erreurs,
comme déformations de l’espace,

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sont des indications très précieuses

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de ce que l’on veut
et ce vers quoi on tend.

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Donc moi…

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je ne laisse jamais…

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je ne suis pas indifférent

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aux erreurs qui se trouvent
dans le dessin,

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qui m’aident à voir ce que j’ai imaginé

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ou ce que quelqu’un d’autre a imaginé,

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derrière l’imprécision d’un dessin.

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Et je m’en sers, pour pouvoir

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aller plus loin

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que le premier jet du dessin,

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pour voir dans quel sens il serait
préférable d’orienter

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ce premier jet.

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En général, je le mets de côté,

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je me l’affiche et je dis :
« Ça c’est l’intention première. »

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Et il faut que j’arrive
à faire aussi bien que ça.

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Mais certainement pas moins bien.

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Donc je ne veux pas

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dégrader

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la première idée.

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Et je suis fort

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sensible au fait que bien souvent,
c’est ça qui se passe,

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on la dégrade.

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On cherche à la rendre…

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à la faire rentrer plus dans les clous

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et elle perd

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une grande partie de ses potentialités
qu’elle avait au départ.