“It’s more a hunch - knowing that there’s something in the material that I want to get to, but it requires working out of bounds of traditional architecture to get to it.”
Rhett Russo is no stranger to the obstacles that come with exploring new ways to make things. Part architect, part designer, part ceramicist, and educator who explores ambiguous processes of material formations through digital fabrication - he knows material firsthand.
“Any time you try to make something that’s not strictly within a discipline it can be challenging. It’s difficult to explain how discrete knowledge in one field has an aesthetic value in another field. On a fundamental level you are asking everyone to rethink how they might build things differently and that is a risky investment.”
“When you shape material differently - it often comes with the preconception that you’re not doing it the way that you’re supposed to. It may be odd or foreign. Yet that is exactly what I try to do, to foreground through my work that society has to look beyond how things are predetermined. Through a combination of computational technology and design I try to reshape and reuse materials in ways that change our expectations or how we value things. If we are to change our future, we have to change our values. For me, design is about presenting another, perhaps unexpected, reality– ‘this (thing) should not do that (thing)’. But it does….”