DENIZ MANISALI LEBA
Singapore - Turkey
1. What's the idea that's obsessing you now?
For the past two years, I have been obsessively thinking about Speculative Architecture and Architects as Story Tellers. This is partially due to a Core Studio I am teaching at Singapore University of Technology and Design. We are working on highly speculative future scenarios where humans are trapped within the virtual and physical worlds. The projects navigate between the Virtual and Physical Space. While 6 months ago the topic seemed like a speculative fiction, due to the pandemic, now it became a contemporary investigation which actually excites me even more. I am particularly interested in two aspects of the future of Architecture. One is the definition of tactility / phenomenology of space in Architecture where physicality is no more the main drive in our experience of space. The other side is the potential of story telling and speculative fiction in Architectural Design to speculate on urgent issues like Climate Change while projecting on future problems and potentials of design as an active participant in the conversation.
2. What would you like to create next ?
The more I think about the future, the more I have been drawn to Sculpture and Drawing. Lately, I have been feeling the need to create forms / stories with clay.
3. Where do you go for inspiration ?
I have always been looking to recognise inspiration at anything and everything that exists. I have always believed that Nature to be a constant inspiration for everything we do and create but for the past couple of months the struggles the world is facing have been my biggest inspiration to question/investigate our lives in multiple layers.
4. What is your favorite everyday object ?
My sketchbook has always been my favourite object since first year of College. It changes it’s form and scale for the past 22 years but our relationship has been a very consistent and obsessive one. I have moved to many countries within this time and they always come with me wherever I go. I also have a 1950’s Armchair which I truly love. Every time I sit on it, I am still amazed how the shape of the wooden arms work in perfect harmony with one's body. I never get tired to look at the curved form of the chair.
5. What’s the last book that made you inspired?
Since I have been staring at the same walls for the past 6 months, I have been going over my old books and readings. I started to read again about 'The Situationist International’ which has always been a fascination of mine since College for their playful and yet highly critical approach to the society as well as Jean Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulation” specially about 'hyperreality'. I think both are very relevant for us to understand where we currently stand as humanity and how we want to speculate about our future. I also just received my copy of “Geostories, An Other Architecture for the Environment” by Rania Ghosn and Hadi Jazairy. The way their design-research practice, Design Earth, uses series of Architectural Projects as tools of Story telling in relation to Climate Change is very inspiring and thought provoking. Specially, their sectional drawings are mesmerising in their intricate detailing and very effective in communicating the urgency of the Climate Change Crisis through speculative fiction.