Didier Solo and Fernanda García, DSM Interview at Pseudónimo, Mexico. GET AN INTERVIEW
Hello, today I will let you talk a bit about yourself. Your studies, what’s your best project, what is your sector specifically between art, urban planning, architecture, interior design, or others. Just start as you desire.
Didier Solo, I am a graduate of the School of Engineering and Architecture of the National Polytechnic Institute. I have collaborated with firms such as Legorreta+Legorreta, FREE (Fernando Romero Enterprise), Esrawe Studio, and R-Zero, which I consider the most important in my professional formation.
Fernanda García, Graduated from Universidad Latinoamericana, with a degree in Interior Architecture. I have collaborated with firms such as Estudio Roca, R-Zero, and AE, where I participated in several projects at a conceptual level. GIORGIO LIVERANI INTERVIEW
Didier Solo and Fernanda García, DSM Interview at Pseudónimo
When did you start thinking about Architecture or any way to do your job?
FG, In high school, one of my teachers introduced me to a world of possibilities around architecture. Actually, it was the set of many teachers that inspired me. They believed in me and were very patient.
DS, Since childhood I said I wanted to be an architect, although I was far from understanding what that meant. I was never a very talented or consistent person, but when I first stepped foot in the university I knew I was on the path I wanted to take. From then on it has been all about interacting with people who are much more talented, creative, and intelligent. I try to always be the dumbest one in the room, this helps me to always learn new things from other people. LISA PARDINI INTERVIEW
Didier Solo / Fernanda García: Collegues? Founders? Tell us who you are and how you cooperate.
DS: We have been working together for almost 9 years, at the beginning, it was a rather detached working relationship, Fernanda helped me with projects from my previous office, while she was finishing school. After some time I decided to separate from my partners and by then we had 3 years working together. When I thought about partnering, I was looking for someone with whom I had chemistry and who put the same energy into the projects as I did, somehow I had generated that chemistry with her, so I proposed it to her and she accepted.
Since then we are partners and counterparts, sometimes she helps me jump into the void, and other times she becomes my anchor, it seems to me that the same thing happens in the opposite direction, we like to challenge and push each other.
DSM Interview at Pseudónimo
If You Could Live in a Different Time, When Would It Be?
FG: Definitely in modernism in Mexico (1890-1940) there were all sorts of things going on and the city was very small, but at the same time there was Frida Kahlo, Chavela Vargas, Jose Alfredo, and Diego Rivera, imagine, they all knew each other, they all went to the same parties, etc.
DS: Much further back, I would like to know where the super complex archeological pieces come from, I would like to know what this same place was like 20 or 30 thousand years ago. I believe in conspiracy theories and I believe that as humans we have a much deeper past than we know. I would like to live in the time of Enoch.
What is a good building for you?
FG: The one that fulfills the greatest amount of services in the least amount of space, that is comfortable, that has good lighting, and that consumes the least amount of energy possible.
DS: I do not believe that buildings can be measured only as good or bad, in any case, it depends on their context, I believe that buildings adapt to their context externally, internally, passively, aggressively, or even in a revolutionary way. Also, its appreciation always depends on the context.
Didier Solo and Fernanda García.
Sifting through your projects … I’d like to say “texture”. What do you answer?
FG: I am thinking of a wooden lambrin, with a natural texture to the touch.
DS: In our projects we always look for the natural texture of the materials, if it is stone we want to feel the tectonics of the stone, if it is wood we want it to feel warm to the touch, even if it is concrete, we like to leave the materials apparent. Each material has its own way of expressing itself, and in architecture, these expressions are combined, that is why we look for the authenticity of the materials we use.
The difference between good and bad architecture is the time you spend on it. – David Chipperfield. WHAT MEAN? DO YOU AGREE?
FG: It depends, I think the time you dedicate to architecture is noticeable in the details and the time you invest in it allows you to become sensitive to the space and its materials, but the tricky point is to know when to stop because as an architect you are never finished.
DS: I think that from the point of view of the exercise yes, as long as architecture is understood as a process of continuous improvement, our current projects do not look like the first ones, little by little we find a language, or a different sense, with time we perfect certain details, but also new questions arise.
Let’s talk about you, say something you didn’t before, something you want.
FG: I really want to make a museum or design a house for some super artist like Emma Watson and I want to learn how to surf.
Didier Solo and Fernanda García, DSM Interview at Pseudónimo.
DS: Since last year we are working on doing projects outside the city, I would like to be part of a community where we can share and explore our knowledge in sustainable architecture, we are looking to get closer to this kind of project and that has led us to connect with very beautiful people.
When did you start your company?
DS: 5 years ago, I had some years as an independent, Fernanda and I met in the firm where I was a partner and although things were going well, they were not going in the direction I expected professionally. After 4 years of working together, I decided to separate from the previous partnership, because of the chemistry I had with Fernanda, I proposed a partnership, she saw here an opportunity for growth and I saw the opportunity to work with new enthusiasm, so here we are.
Didier Solo and Fernanda García, DSM Interview at Pseudónimo
How much does the location of where you live/work affect what kind of work you do?
FG: It’s interesting because the office shares space with other projects this influences my work because it’s a very dynamic place, that makes my head constantly think about other things. I usually move everywhere by bicycle, which helps me to keep my mind always moving.
DS: For me, Mexico City is a place full of contrasts, where the same day you can be in an automated building and 3 hours later be in a house with a dirt floor. We are a product of class inequality, traffic, social slogans, of a city that never sleeps. I see how this influences our work and it shows me things I want and things I don’t. What kind of work do we do? Regardless of budget or location we always seek to improve the quality of life of the users of the spaces we make, it’s the least we can do.
This is very nice. Now I’d like you to show me this project I love: Casa Luz, can you tell me more?
FG: I can tell you that it is one of my favorite projects, I know it perfectly and in each of its details, it was planned from the origin of the design of the house.
For me it is a project that made me grow, I had a very strong hate-love relationship because sometimes things do not go as you want, but as it took shape and saw the clients happy and living the house as it was planned, I knew it was all worth it.
Tell me about the project you’re most proud of and why. What was your role?
FG: Punta Ixtapa.
Started as a Christmas miracle because we had very little work in the office, which allowed us to reach the maximum level of detail because practically the whole office was on that project.
When we went to see the site, we realized all the potential it had, working in front of the sea filled me with inspiration, it also made me very sensitive to the materials, the climate, the people, and the food.
DS: It is also an example of collaboration, The person who invited us to this project was still a student at the time, instead of just taking it as a commission, we decided to add him to the design process; today he has his own interior design office. When we built this house we didn’t want to increase costs or the ecological footprint, so we looked for a local builder who understood the project perfectly. This was a cornerstone because his expertise helped us find the best workmanship, the best supply of materials, and local construction techniques.
Didier Solo and Fernanda García, DSM Interview at Pseudónimo
What’s your creative process? Show me some different images, that you have taken or of some works you have done and comment.
01 Project Punta Ixtapa.
The sketching process continues to be fundamental for us, during this process ideas, explorations, diversity of languages, and different scenarios emerge, it is the stage in which we allow ourselves to design new realities and solutions for the same problem.
02 Project Kipal.
Technology plays a very important role in our work, most of our projects have a 3d model in which we design furniture, technical solutions, installations and the light itself. When the level of detail requires it, we also build 1-1 models of the pieces we design in 3d.
03 Project Soop.
The Light Studio. It happens to us all the time, we make decisions based on light, and we look for it to be present in each of our projects, its precise study determines what texture and what color will help us to find what we want to convey.
DSM Interview at Pseudónimo. Didier Solo and Fernanda García: About Corona sars-cov2.
How Will the Coronavirus Reshape Architecture?
FG: For me, the pandemic was a breaking point with several things we had in mind for the architecture we do at Pseudónimo. Now we are looking to do sustainable projects, outside of Mexico City, more connected to nature. We want to go back to the essentials.
DS: This is going to sound very bad, but I enjoyed so much the time of confinement, that is, I was alone at home, I went out walking at night with empty streets, I lost my house and went to live in the office that was empty for a long time, a good part of my family and some friends died, nothing very different from the reality of other people. All this helped me to rethink all my architectural activities, especially what we were doing and where we wanted to go as an office. That led us to look for projects outside Mexico City that provoke peace of mind, serenity, and silence. Projects that are conducive to life.
Do you have a question in mind that you would ask in this type of setting?
FG: I am interested in knowing how regenerative architecture works and to start studying permaculture, I think this will be the new way of living.
DS: I think we are in an amazing time, where different social structures and thinking have evolved in diametrically opposed ways, almost to the point of collapse, that is, on the same planet we are talking about the metaverse and travel to Mars, at the same time I see problems of food and overexploitation. What I am getting at with all this, I think we dug our own hole and it is up to us to get out of it. That piques my interest a lot, how are we going to get out of it?
Say a suggestive expression:
FG: I can help you build what you dream 😉 😉 😉.
DS: We die a little on every project. XD
Ha ha ha ha! @DS That’s true! Many thanks for your time, and your Good words.
DSM Interview at Pseudónimo. Didier Solo and Fernanda García: free considerations.
I leave you a small space here down, where you can start your reflection.
FG: My philosophy… You are what you create, I am a faithful believer that everyone lives in the reality they create, with the thoughts you have every day, the people you surround yourself with, the projects you carry out, the conversations you have, and what everyone values and beliefs are important. That’s why I try to find beauty in every possible place, to fill my life with pleasant things that fill me with happiness, a good coffee, a bouquet of flowers insight, and a glass of fresh water when I wake up.
I believe that “success is not achieved by luck, it is the result of constant effort”, maybe it sounds trite, but I believe it very much, we are the result of what we do every day, for better or worse, I think it is important to do every day what you love, what makes your heartbeat, constantly challenge your beliefs and realize how much you can evolve with that, my philosophy, flow and not stop, because sometimes the conditions are given, and we can only move forward so enjoy the road, as much as you can!
DS: Lately I think about how small we are to the universe, I see myself as an atom, trying to create connections between other atoms just as small as me, trying to understand the plane we are in to think we can modify it. I think of the stones and the particles that compose them and all the physical and chemical processes we subject them to in order to shape spaces we can inhabit. That makes me look for a deeper meaning in space, that is, we are something completely ephemeral and yet our architecture is even more ephemeral. READ ABOUT A BIOCLIMATIC HOUSE IN MEXICO
Among all these thoughts I also like to think that this moment is unique, wonderful, and unrepeatable and that is why it is worth stopping to observe the details and ask ourselves these questions, which allow us to create spaces to favor life. Pseudónimo Mexico