Mr Martin, before we begin with the interview, please introduce yourself in 3-4 sentences briefly.
_Ralph Martin [rm]: Ralph Martin Architect 20+ years of experience in Civic / Education / Medical / High Rise / Mixed Use Commercial / Mixed Use Residential / Interiors / Corporate HQ / Green LEED Projects with a background in Art + Technology including CAD / 3D / BIM / Adobe Studio / Macintosh + Windows.
Question 1: What was your first job after graduating?
_rm: San Diego, CA. : Joint Venture Project ( one year ) of Arthur Erickson Architects + LMN Architects + Deems Lewis McKinley ( local firm that I worked for )
San Diego Convention Center $250 million project ( Phase One ) that achieved AIA Awards + Published in Architectural Record ( on cover too ).
Architectural intern + worked with AEA on large models & staging for Port Authority / City of San Diego Design Review Meetings.
Question 2: Why should clients in any case work together with an architect?
_rm: My process is to “ ask the right questions, listen for opportunities & be open to thinking differently…“ Program Driven + Client Interaction + Parti will lead to a successful project.
Question 3: How would you describe your architectural style?
_rm: Contemporary + Casual + Eco-chic
Question 4: Which book or film has impressed you in the last time?
_rm: Book : „Between Silence + Light “ Louis Khan
Book : „S,M,L,XL“ Rem Koolhaas
Movies : Watchmen / Sin City / The Fifth Element / My Father, My Architect / Blade Runner / Brazil / Lost In Translation
Question 5: Who are your role models and why?
_rm: Le Corbusier : Architect + Artist. Masterful use of forms, color & light. Le Modular
Louis Kahn : Architect + Professor. Master of form + light. Architectural Philosopher.
Fumohiko Maki : Architect : Purity of geometries & proportions.
Zaha Hadid : Architect + Artist : Architectural as the art of frozen energy in space + time.
Question 6: Is the client king or should he be guided to his luck by an architect?
_rm: Client + Architect are partners on a journey of process + discovery, while maintaining financial responsibilities & being friendly with Mother Nature. Foremost is making the Client’s dreams come true.
Question 7: Which subject in course of studies best prepared you for your profession?
_rm: Art + History.
Question 8: From Paul Valéry comes the term „architecture is music made in stone.“ What referees to the question, what music you’re currently happy to hear?
_rm: Classic Jazz / Classical / Atmospheric music such as Enigma / Eno / Moby.
Question 9: Which building would you like to design and why?
_rm: Museum of Contemporary Art
Civic : give art back to the people.
Art : Showcasing the wonders of contemporary artworks
Technology : how to control the environment & light to maintain art & display it in natural light.
Architectural Space : How to create the spatial paths of discovery of art patron to art & heighten the interaction between art & people.
Question 10: Architecture is … ?
_rm: Architecture is the vessel for which Man, Art, Science, Light, Color & Nature become One.
And finally, question 11: What question would you like to ask and whom?
_rm: To All Famous Architects :
What is your process of discovery + how do you sell it to the world?
P.S. : Also… Who is your muse?
I am glad to have you as an non-german speaking architect on my magazine. So I take the opportunity to ask you a few more questions interesting for me and others. How to become an architect in Washington State, USA?
_rm: You must be born with the passion & gift of making the world a better place.
Architecture is a lifestyle, NOT just a job.
Be curious about everything surrounding you.
Learn to „see“ detail, light + shadow “ patterns, REALLY look at the world around you & absorb as much as possible. Sketch, paint, sculpt as much as possible. TRAVEL!
Go to an a university with a College of Architecture or a Design School that teaches Architecture / Interior / Industrial Design / Art & get a Bachelor of Architecture Degree (minimum). Work for 3 years for an Architect. Study & take the Architectural Exams (12).
After passing all the exams, take an oral exam with the State you are living in. Once you pass that exam, you will receive your Architectural License to practice Architecture as an Architect in that State. Only Architects & Landscape Architects with a License can be called “ Architects “ & practice Architecture / Landscape Architecture.
In germany you have to be a member of the architectural chamber to call yourself an architect. Is there any comparable in the USA?
_rm: SEE answer to last question.
You may join the American Institute of Architects ( AIA ) which will allow you to put AIA after your name, but this is NOT required to be an Architect.
AIA is a great organization of fellow architects + professionals that share a common lifestyle & passion for the profession.
What about the current market situation in your place?
_rm: Seattle WA. is currently undergoing a slow down due to the current economic issues in the world.
Before that there was many construction projects of high rise condominiums, mixed use commercial & condos, Hotel / Living / retail combos, Green LEED projects, etc…..
Are there any special architectual conditions in Washington State?
_rm: Green LEED design & construction , recycling, alternative energy awareness, reducing of the carbon footprints, more dense yet slim high rise towers with „combo“ design of housing, retail, office, hotel, etc….in one building with emphasis on orientation & nature, passive cooling / heating, green products.
Thank you Mr Martin