Your browser is out-of-date.

In order to have a more interesting navigation, we suggest upgrading your browser, clicking in one of the following links.
All browsers are free and easy to install.

  • in vitruvius
    • in magazines
    • in journal
  • \/



interview ISSN 2175-6708


O francês Antoine Picon, professor da Harvard Graduate School of Design e teórico preocupado com as múltiplas relações entre a arquitetura e a tecnologia digital, é entrevistado pela dupla de professores brasileiros Gabriela Celani e David Sperling.

Antoine Picon, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a theorist who is concerned with the multiple relationships between architecture and digital technology, is interviewed by the Brazilian duo Gabriela Celani and David Sperling.

how to quote

CELANI, Gabriela; SPERLING, David. Architecture makes life meaningful. Interview with Antoine Picon. Entrevista, São Paulo, year 19, n. 074.02, Vitruvius, jun. 2018 <>.

Páginas do livro “La matérialité de l'architecture”, de Antoine Picon
Foto divulgação [Website Amazon]

The book La materialité de l'architecture, recently published by Parenthèses in France, starts from the thesis that the role of architecture is to give expression to matter. From this assumption, Picon reviews the history of Architecture from this point of view to arrive, in the final chapter, to materiality in the digital age. According to him, the information age did not start with the emergence and popularization of computers, but much earlier, since the end of the nineteenth century, with the need to treat information for the “good functioning of companies and sectors of administration”. The development of computers would therefore be the consequence, not the cause of the information society.

Picon asserts that, the purposes of the computer have changed significantly throughout the twentieth century, from calculator to computer, passing through a machine of logical ordering (ordinateur) and finally reaching a pervasive hybridization with other equipment, becoming something that mediates our relationship with the physical reality, thus influencing our conception of materiality. However, the author affirms that while contemporary architecture broke ranks with some presuppositions of modernity, it would remain faithful to the modern movement on the issue of the symbolic, which is clearly manifested in spite of the return of the ornament, a theme already discussed by him in other publications.

The book concludes with some very interesting questions about the future of Architecture. For example, in view of the fact that architectural design moves progressively from the design of spaces to the design of events made possible by the capacity of buildings to communicate and act, Picon wonders if, when becoming the main actress, Architecture would not be losing its important role as scenery, capable of giving meaning to human existence.

Páginas do livro “La matérialité de l'architecture”, de Antoine Picon
Foto divulgação [Website Amazon]


how to quote


original: português

outros: english




Uma conversa com o cenógrafo Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Fernanda S. Ferreira


© 2000–2020 Vitruvius
All rights reserved

The sources are always responsible for the accuracy of the information provided