Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014 - (Page 6)

in my own words to design is Human Eran ChEn Designer, architect, and Creative Director Office for Design & architecture (ODa) Israeli-born Eran Chen is one of the founders and the creative director of ODA, a prominent architecture firm based in New York City. ODA has gained attention for innovative projects that include everything from historic renovation to luxury hotels, from private residences to furniture collections. The firm's international work includes the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem and The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway. In addition to his work at ODA, Chen is a guest professor at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. His work has been recognized in publications including The New York Times, Architectural Record, The Architect's Newspaper, Concept Architecture Magazine, and others. born designer i was always intrigued by the threedimensional environments that surround us and tried to document them one way or another. my mom always tells the story of when i was five years old and i sat down and drew perspective views of our living room. she still has the drawings to prove it. Later in life i had different ideas; i thought of being a physician and a surgeon, many things. in israel, after high school you go into the army for a few years, and it gives you time to decide what works for you. in my twenties, i came back to architecture and thought this is really for me. still standing every architect has their first project and their first client who they'll love forever. When i was in my third year of architecture school in Jerusalem, friends of mine asked me to design their home. i was a pretty ambitious student and i took on that mission. of course we had to involve an engineer to sign off on the drawings; and the client's husband was a contractor, so he was confident enough that he could read my working drawings-which were far from perfect. But i designed their home some 20 years ago, and they still live in it, so i guess it was successful. 6 imagine A universal language i love the fact that our team [at oda] is international. it wasn't necessarily intentional, but it came about this way and we love it. i think new York is one of the few places in the world where you can achieve full collaboration in an environment that supports an international team. different people bring different backgrounds and cultures, and the emotional influence they have on the architecture creates international connections. it has nothing to do with style or country, social or economic situations. i think architects notice this about our work, and it attracts them to our firm. inheritance and renewal i don't think you ever build entirely from scratch. Whatever you're building, as an architect, you build within a context that preexists. the question is how much exists within the parameters of the project. But even if you build something from scratch, you inherit everything that surrounds it. the most successful cities in the world are those embracing the history of their architecture but still creating renewable frameworks all the time. there are a few cities i recently fell in love with. Barcelona is a great, vibrant city, mostly because of that balance of history and renewal. tel aviv, where i come from, is very similar. it has the biggest collection of Bauhaus buildings, yet it's not a city that is frozen in time. it's ever-changing and dynamic. that really influences the type of people it attracts, the type of people who gravitate toward these cities. it's not about the buildings. it's about an environment, the people who occupy these buildings and their interactions. Barcelona really struck me as the kind of place you just want to be-you want to sit right down on the street and have a sangria and take it all in. Whether you walk through the buildings of gaudi or go to the beach, there's a sense of liveliness. Combined with the public spaces, the people, the food, the whole culture, that makes it a very successful city. Creating a shared vision architecture is about engaging an idea and making it happen through the process of convincing large groups of interested parties that your vision is the right may/Jun 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014

Big Picture
In My Own Words
Imagine, Design, Build
A Schematic of the Possible
My Life as an Architect
Blueprint for the Future
DesertSol: A Model of Sustainability
Across Space and Time
The Art of Summer
Selected Opportunities & Resources
A Digital Canvas
Rising to the Technovation Challenge
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Creative Minds Imagine
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014