The fantastic magazine SHOES-UP dedicated their 22nd issue to Pixel Art:  “Everybody switches (or switches back) to 8-bit mode and the explanation is a general overdose of technology”.

SHOES-UP came across our entry for the Taipei Performing Arts Center and wanted to do an interview. In the end they only published one of our images, not the interview. But no problem: everybody can be a publisher now…

If we consider Pixel Art as a repetition of simple forms to create a complex and consistent project, can we consider Architecture as a form of Pixel Art?

In principle architecture is a composition of grids (an ongoing struggle is to get rid of the seams…). These grids can have very different dimensions though. I would consider a pixel a fixed unit that can take different identities but still repeats the same ‘size’.

Pixels are graphical elements. As soon as we add a 3rd dimension you can speak of Voxels, volumetric Pixels.

Can you see any other link/bridge between Architecture and Pixel Art?

Architecture often is a repetition of units (residential, or office spaces for instance) that can become meaningful through their organization, stacking, or combination.

If we consider facades, windows and furniture’s and the importance of squares, rectangles, cubes today, can we say that Pixel is a trend in Architecture?

There are numerous trends at the moment. Some of them try to get away from the limitations of box. But orthogonal elements are of course quite practical…

Pixel Art began with mathematic matrices (01, 001, 101 etc…). Is

Architecture could have the same inspiration? Links with figures and maths?

All architecture is based on math, but mostly in an archaic way. One of our early significant works, Blok K in Funen/Amsterdam, now finally under construction, took a fixed unit size of 630M3 as starting point. Changing the vector of the access alley in the middle of the block (for urban considerations) reallocated the volume: the footprint of some of the houses shrank as such pushing the volume upwards; other dwellings were stretched horizontally and became lower. Through the introduction of the diagonal the massing of the initial cubic block changed completely to create a ‘valley’ in the roofscape of the urban plan. It is a pocket calculator version of parametric design!

Can we say that Architecture is between Cubism and Pixel Art?

Cubism can maybe be considered as a low res version of reality that, other than Pixel Art, distinguishes multiple unit sizes.

Can we consider Le Corbusier as the first Pixel Architect with his approach and works?

That probably depends on the definition. Maybe 19th century working man housing could be considered a version too. Quite clearly the Structuralism of the seventies worked very much on the basis of the cell. Its dominance was severe; no way to escape the rigor of the unit. Claustrophobic in a way.

Sixties: Is it still Pixel Art if all pixels are identical?

Nineties: collection of fragments without coherence or consistency. Pure individuality, no bigger picture. Blur. White Noise.

What would be the perfect Pixel Architecure in a few words?

Pixel Art = character at the level of the cell + coherence at the level of the collective. Or: individuality that is strongly linked to the large whole.

What shoes are you wearing today?

Old School Adidaslers in white. Bit dirty already, damn.

Can you imagine an architectural project inspired by sneakers?

Yes, a catalogue house. The market of prefab houses completely lacks imagination, really poor standards. ‘Architects’ are not involved. There is a lot to gain in the world of Architecture-From-The-Shelf. And sneakers definitely are an inspiration!

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