As part of our on-going series of conversations with architects about the state of the profession, their inspiration and other pressing questions, today we get the perspective of Matt Gagnon. A product of Cornell University, Gagnon worked for Frank Gehry and Gaetano Pesce before launching his own studio in 2002. Since then, he has taken on a variety of projects, with clients ranging from W Resorts to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
What direction do you see the profession heading?
I am not sure where it is heading, but I think architects will need to become more entrepreneurial in their outlook in order to exploit opportunities that architects are well suited to, but I believe are missing out on under the traditional patronage-type of client relationships. And hopefully competitions will diminish as a means of hiring an architect in the future.
What buildings inspire you?
Recently I have been looking at the concrete shell structures of Felix Candela and the work of Jose Antonio Coderch.
Where else do you find inspiration?
Industrial design, art and everyday surroundings.
What are your three favorite objects?
Who are some of your favorite young architects?
I don’t think I have favorites. There are a lot of interesting ideas and projects being proposed by young firms.
Do you listen to music while you’re working?
On and Off. Some days I really want the influence of music on my mood and other days I enjoy the silence.
If you could live anywhere, where it would it be (a location or specific structure)?
At the moment I am happy living in LA. I suppose it would be cooler if I lived in a space I designed.
A decade from now, what trends will be cringeworthy?
The pursuit of exclusivity or luxury as a marketing strategy for “designed” spaces.
What currents trends will stand the test of time?
I hope the interest in improving public space.
Color—yes or no?
I always start out thinking about color but so often end up without it. I would like more color.
What are you reading?
What are you wearing?
Usually a sweater
What are you eating?
My wife’s homemade pizza.
Are you a sketcher or a computer person?
Social media-yes or no?
Not really but I probably should be.