Anna Puigjaner, MAIO
MAIO is an architecture office based in Barcelona that develops spatial systems. They have developed a wide range of projects, from housing blocks or urban planning to furniture or exhibition design. MAIO is run by Maria Charneco, Alfredo Lérida, Guillermo López and Anna Puigjaner, who recently has been nominated finalist of the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Initiative 2016 and awarded with the Wheelwright Prize, Harvard GSD.
MAIO is an architecture office based in Barcelona that develops spatial systems. Through these spatial systems, we work on the practical and theoretical at the same time.
Balance is a good characteristic of any brilliant design — any good design has a good sense of balance. In our case, we always attempt to design for openness: how much do you do and how much don’t you do to allow a design to change through time, and grow by itself?
In architecture, there is always a balance between the individual and the community no matter the scale you are working in, from a single house to a city. And with that, always the same question: how do you address the needs of the individual in relation to the needs of community, and by extension the notion of privacy and publicity. If you start from the idea of home, it has to be a private space but also a collective one. Beyond that, no matter how you live, individuals depend on a larger infrastructure, for electricity for example. In the end, every decision we take as an individual connects to the community.
On shaping mood and emotion
When you use a well-designed object or space it makes you feel better. The design is there, but you aren’t aware of it. This is one of the most important things for happiness: to live in a good space and to be surrounded by things that are well designed.
Thinking beyond site
Most architectural projects start from context. As a reaction, we like to say that our projects have no context— no specific place, no specific time. For us, context is larger than just site: it’s about a balance of sociological, economic, and political influences that inform a design.
A balance of materials
Balance in materiality is also related with the economic and political side of things: where material comes from and how this material has been extracted and worked out is relevant to the project. There are a lot of ethical issues we as professionals have to take into consideration and address.