Interviewed in Zagreb 25 July 2014
The work of Rijeka-based architect Idis Turato includes diverse media and genres. He creates atypical family houses and public buildings which defy conventions. His self-initiated exploratory works question urban reality and the contemporary social moment. He regularly posts on his blog about a wide selection of topics, from popular culture to the history of architecture. In his teaching practice he does not offer the security of the known, but guides students toward independent thinking. In all these complementary fields Turato crosses the borders, but remains well articulated and focused. Instead of specific projects, we discussed methods, concepts and new challenges of architecture.
Mrduljaš: Let us try to delineate the context for our conversation. We can describe the present moment as a time of crisis; there is the current economic crisis, then the public domain crisis, the crisis in political life, and the transformation of social values and the focus of interest of the individual. Crisis also encourages questioning, and can be utilized productively. How do you see the current moment?
Turato: Anyone with the least bit of architectural and general intelligence has been in some state of constant crisis, especially in the last fifty years. Each of our ideas is constantly subject to changes, criticism, aggression—our everyday life is a crisis. And at the time of Alberti and his uncompleted Tempio Malatestiano, of Plečnik, Venturi, Koolhas, and today, in the age of Mason White (Lateral Studio) and Liam Young, a thinking architect utilises the crisis, and the fragile situation in his environment, and changes it. The works of Superstudio and Archizoom also speak of a type of crisis. If we talk about the impact of the current economic crisis, and the correlation between architecture and the capital, well, that is another matter. Architects cannot have influence on this type of crisis. Architects did not accept neoliberal capitalism because they wanted to, but because they simply had no choice, they could only give up their work. Architecture is a result of politics and society, and the crisis of capitalism is just one of the contexts within which we currently work.