20 Mar Learning with Andrés Jaque!
Last week I had the chance and priviledge to show my work to Andrés Jaque, a outstanding architect which always invited us to reflect about Architecture with his work. He has been trendy lately thanks to his piece Cosmos, displayed in MoMa. This odd to have a more intimate meeting with him was due to the fact my Projecting teacher, Andrés Perea, was the mentor of Jaque many years ago, so he invited him to attend to our workshop and give us some feedback.
This experience with Jaque was awesome. He has an incredibly complex mind, full of concerns and interests which englobe many different levels in our society. The way he finds paths to connect them, ways to link elements in different stratums and take a lesson from them is something which highlights a level of fantasy out of common.
Andrés Perea used to tell me:
You, Agustín, are a man with a great heuristic level. Do you know what heuristic is? It is the power of invention, of creating new worlds and ways of living as you do.
If he, an old wise man with no problem in giving a bad feedback, dared to say such gentil words to me, a common student, I could understand the excitement and happy revelry he felt and showed that day every time Jaque talked.
Andrés Jaque seems very interesting in creating new ways to live the world and showing other options for breaking the standards. Many people say he does not Architecture, but a very spatial Art. I think he really does Architecture, but in a way similar to the clothes we see in fashion parades: we would not go out to the street wearing Agatha Ruiz de la Prada most daring designs, nor many of the outfits we stare in the runway (a great amount of them are not designed to be worn). But those designs are neccesary for rethinking Fashion and making it advance, improve and continue developing. That is what Andrés Jaque does in Architecture.
The project I presented for him was Casa Alcaletta, one of my last works. This project included an urban plan for turning off all the street lights in the city of Alcalá de Henares, and embrace the night. It was a claim for taking back the night, the starts and the stelar landscape for the city. I appreciated the respect Jaque shown during our presentations. He liked my project, and his feedback was great. However, other coments which broke into the conversation along my presentation were even more valuable to me.
I had selected the best shoots, the best drawings and pictures of my project for the display. Once I was done, my teacher Andrés point out something: I had killed the very interesting part of the failures and tries and process. And he was so right.
Then, Jaque made a commentary which got to me:
Always show your process. Showing results creates acolytes. Showing the process creates partners. When you are not afraid of others seeing the steps you follow in the creation, you will realize that builds confidence and trust, since they can see the whys and reasons behind the decisions. If they don’t see that part, they will have to just have faith in you, which is not so good in the long way.
Of course he is right, but I think a little punctualization here may be needed: he is Andrés Jaque. He can show his process and secrets with no fear of being copied, since nobody can copy something so different and unique. He is so sure and convinced about what he does, and has his ideas and inner world so clear, that he can be an open book with no fears. And that is the kind of person we should strike to be.
Professionals with such a passion for what we do and with such a rich and full inner world that we do not need to protect it, since nobody can steal the talent from us, if we really have it.