I Believe That Lightness is Not Possible

architect Manuel Rocha de Aires Mateus
interviewed by Tomislav Pavelić


ORIS: After seeing your works today at the lecture, it seems to me that they all have to do more with the whole oeuvre, than with a singular, particular work. As if you had a subject, a theme, which you constantly explore, from one work to the other – much more than having a single task, like, for example you have a client and make a house for him. Would that be correct?


Manuel de Aires Mateus: I agree in a sense with you. I think that, in a way, we work for ourselves. It doesn’t mean it’s selfish, that we don’t take care of our client or that we don’t respect his necessities. But, in a very general sense, you work for yourself, for your own proposals, then you use your work, you use different clients and different projects, to express parts of the investigation that you want to make. I think that, in relation to the client, architects are like lawyers. We should defend our clients, we should answer the subject in the most correct way. But then, you just don’t care about the client, you use him to go into your work, to emphasize the project. And I like them to be involved, to participate, not in the sense of making decisions but in the sense that they might provoke something, turn the process into a more individual situation.