Words by Eleni Papaioannou
Born in Athens, this uber – talented designer graduated and taught at the Architectural Association school of Architecture in London and practiced his skills between New York and London, before settling back in Greece to create the architectural firm TEC which recently grew and was rebranded into Omniview, one of the most influential architectural firms around. His recent work on the sculpture EVERNESS, his incarnation of the AEN spirit of The House of METAXA, has made him the talk of the town, with his intuitive approach to design through nature. Contemporary, creative, limitless, his work has been adorned by massive interiors publications and his personal style has granted him a place in our heart as one of the men to be inspired by…
What do you consider beautiful?
Anything that makes me happier than I was before, just by looking at it.
What is the first thing you made with your hands?
It was a wooden boat…. not a real sized one of course… it was a crazy summer project between my grandfather and me. Boats have very complex forms but if you try to make a boat using primitive ones, what u get looks a lot like a building. I remember that boat so vividly… everything felt so Le Corbusiesque. We painted it in all the primitive colors … we didn’t know what we were doing but the aesthetic was totally Bauhaus.
Where do you find inspiration?
I have many sources but I think that the two most dominant ones are nature and fashion. Lately I’m watching a lot of Heidi Klum’s “Project Runway”. There is a way of thinking/ talking about fashion design that architectural conversation really lacks, and could benefit from…and maybe vice versa. I made a list of words they use in fashion critiques:
elegant/classy/polished/fashion forward/modern/youthful/luxurious/enigmatic/avant garde/minimal/expensive/fresh/luminous/emphatic?
So, lately I’ve been testing my work in terms of these concepts as well. You’d be surprised to see how much it helps me edit a design or its presentation.
Which famous architect has had the biggest impact on you?
In terms of understanding how architecture can be something unique and different that all other types of design, its certainly Le Corbusier. Mythical stuff…
Who do you consider your mentor?
Everyone in my life who ever improved my technical skills or my aesthetic. I believe the first and most significant one was my Grandpa, a physicist from Sparta. He taught me how materials come together to create something new.
Describe your personal style.
If you mean clothing, it’s kind of two faceted: when I work, I wear a suit. That has never changed and never will. I believe that when a gentleman is interfacing his clients and his colleagues he has to wear a suit, other wise it looks kind of awkward. Outside of work, most of the time I’m skating and surfing and things like that, so I’m very influenced by that culture.
MY GRANDPA TAUGHT ME HOW MATERIALS COME TOGETHER TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW.
Do you like fashion?
Hahaha see above!
What is style?
Style is the application of one’s aesthetic in everything they do.
What projects are you excited about?
As I always say, architects don’t talk about their next projects. I am always excited about diverse applications, ones that are out of the strict box of the architect. For example lately I was honored to be picked by the house of Metaxa, a Greek brand I have a lot of respect for, to design something special for them.
Is symmetry boring?
No it isn’t. But I personally don’t like it. I think that especially in biomimetic design, symmetry makes things too connotational of their origin, which is something we try to avoid.
What is biomimetic design?
It is the design genre where we decode geometrical recipes found in nature, ex the shape of a spider web or the pattern of a pineapple’s skin, code it and turn it into a method of programming form.
What is your favorite book?
I have only fully read one. It’s called the “Tipping Point”. If u read it u will understand half of the way this world works.
I live and breathe music. I also write and play music.
In the morning, I strictly listen to new music by the most amazing music discovery app/site, HYPE machine. Their amazing concept is to scan progressive music blogs’ texts for names of songs that are currently heard a lot, identify them and play them.
For all around music I go for Spotify playlists. There’s really good ones if you dig. I also admit having a weakness for Greek pop. And Greek music in general. Recently I discovered a Greek song that is probably one of the most beautiful tunes ever written. It’s called “Giasemi”, Themis Adamantidis’s being the nicest performance of it. Such a celebration of 70’s belle époque romanticism.
MOST OF THE TIME, WHEN I DON’T WORK, I’M SKATING AND SURFING, SO I’M VERY INFLUENCED BY THAT CULTURE.
Piece of art?
I consider Anish Kapoor’s sculptures to be the elementary currency all-important progressive design is based upon. I always look at his stuff to remember how to keep it real.
Do you work in silence or chaos?
Neither, nor. Just music through my headphones.
In which place are you your true self?
When I’m alone with my unbelievable wife who I adore more than anything.
STYLE IS THE WRAPPING PAPER OF WHAT WE PRESENT TO THE WORLD, BUT ALSO A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE CONTENT.
In which icons do you trust?
Michael Kors said: Style is everything. It’s kinda true. Style is the wrapping paper of what we present to the world, but also a significant part of the content. One’ s style is an amalgamation of all the dudes who have somehow stylistically influenced them, weather it be movie characters or actual people.
Harvey from the series “Suits”