Marcio Kogan
Romulo Fialdini Marcio Kogan

In this edition of the Progressive Questionnaire, Studio MK27 director Marcio Kogan, Hon. FAIA, discusses his utopian architecture influences.

Firm: Studio MK27
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Year founded: In the early 1980s; the firm became Studio MK27 in 2001.
Leadership: Marcio Kogan, Hon. FAIA
Education: B.Arch., FAU-Mackenzie ; Master of Education, Society, and Culture, Escola da Cidade
Experience: I was a film director until my first long feature in 1988, which bankrupted me. Then I had to content myself with being an architect.
Total staff: 20 architects and four other staff

A microscopic collaboration for a better world.

Favorite project:
Like many architects would respond, the last finished one. I’m partial to Jungle House, in Guarujá, Brazil.

Redux House, 2013, Bragança Paulista
Fernando Guerra Redux House, 2013, Bragança Paulista

Second favorite project:
I have a very tender feeling for the Redux House, Micasa Vol B, and Studio SC, all in the state of São Paulo. Redux House has an interesting synthesis of materials and volumes; we made a movie there (This Was Not My Dream, 2014), and I had a lot of fun. Micasa Vol B was an advance in the studio’s language—without any finishings, embracing the imprecisions of the process. Studio SC was a space designed closely with the client with a great amount of freedom, and a unique program that joined art and gastronomy, two things that I love.

Historic design hero:
I was in love with utopian architecture: American hippie Modernism, Archigram, Superstudio … Those were right up my alley. In reality they still are. I also admire the Japanese metabolists. I recently visited the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo, which is amazing!

After I graduated, I began to deeply admire Brazilian Modernism. It was difficult for me to understand how Brazil, a country that was completely isolated from the world at that moment, could produce such spectacular and iconic architecture, from the end of the 1930s until the beginning of the ’60s, when the city of Brasília was inaugurated. I can’t forget to mention Mies van der Rohe.

Paraty House, 2009
Nelson Kon Paraty House, 2009

Modern-day design heroes:
I like the current Japanese architecture and numerous incredible architects like Toyo Ito, Hon. FAIA, Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, Sou Fujimoto, Takaharu Tezuka, Kengo Kuma, Hon. FAIA, among others. I believe that they are inspired by Brazilian modernist architecture. And I also have great admiration for Herzog & de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA, and Richard Rogers, Hon. FAIA. Realistically, I could mention 100 more.

Special item in your studio space:
The studio has thousands of objects filling up every empty corner. We have a collection of sketches and drawings that go from Le Corbusier to Oscar Niemeyer.

Cobogó House, 2011, São Paulo
Nelson Kon Cobogó House, 2011, São Paulo

Design tool of choice:
A block of 100 sheets of tracing paper and a Staedtler .05mm pen.

Skills to master:
I still am left with the sensation that I need to learn everything.

Morning person or night owl:
I am a night person, but I have to wake up early every day for meetings, which turns me into a (yawning) day person.

Social media platform of choice:
I really like to read.

Cobogó House, 2011, São Paulo
Nelson Kon Cobogó House, 2011, São Paulo