Photographer by Borzu Talaie
Reza Aliabadi is the Founder of boutique Architectural Practice - rzlbd Architects based in Toronto. He tells us about the current projects that they are working on and his thoughts on the future of design trends.
Q: Why did you get into Interior Design?
A: Actually I am an architect, and in my practice we don't see a sharp border to divide what we do. For us interior design is the extension of the very architectural design process to compliment any design commission.
Q: How did you start up your career?
A: It was in the first year of high school that I started to apprentice as a draughtsman. Then, it was part of the high school curriculum, which mandated attending a workplace one day a week to learn a job, skill, or craft. At about the same time, in the summer of 1988, while travelling the central Persian Plateau [Dasht-e Kavir] and visiting some remote cities and villages such as Abyaneh, Neyasar, Ardestan, and Nain, I was taken away by the magic of architecture; since then I became a restless soul. It was with these convictions that I entered the School of Architecture.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: In general everything from everywhere is capable to be a source of inspiration as long as you make sure you see what you see. However, to be more particular the inspiration come from the projects’ very context; not only physical (location), but also the program, the budget, applied restrictions, and the like.
Q: Can you tell us about a significant accomplishment or project that you regard as notable?
A: The word “accomplishment” makes me uncomfortable! Just to share something exciting I would refer to one of our recent project the Opposite House. What is interesting about the house is the fact that it is as long as an Airbus A321 (146’ long).
Q: What project(s) are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently we are working on a handful of new residential projects, a boutique community centre, restoring a 150-year old heritage designated building, and designing a set of costume furniture for a former client.
Q: If you could design anything, what would it be?
A: This reminds me of a famous quote by Ernesto Rogers; “The architect designs from the spoon to the city”. So far, the smallest thing I have designed were limited edition bowties and its been awhile that I am thinking to do eyeglasses.
Q: Can you give us a statement about Design?
A: "Architecture is all about, how to treat the emptiness, to respect the space not to fill it up.” - Reza Aliabadi
Q: If you could describe your designs related to food, what would it be and why?
A: I believe that architecture provides a background for your daily activities and in that sense I would like to think of my design as something neutral; with no specific taste. I guess I look at architecture as a white plate to hold all the other spices.
Q: What do you think of the design trends in the future?
A: I would question the ongoing race for newness and oddness; and in that sense we would like to pursue a more radical passivity.
Q: Who is your favourite Designer and why?
A: It’s really hard and it’s not fair to name only one individual when it comes to favourite architects; I am happy that you insisted the word “designer”; this makes it easier for me to name a few: Dieter Rams, Massimo Vignelli.
Q: In which country would you like to have your project in?
A: Currently, all of our ongoing projects are in Canada and to be specific in the Greater Toronto area; so we are open to any new context.
Q: What element of a design is the most important thing to you?
A: I would say “SCALE”.
Q: What is your favourite cocktail?
A: I would rather liquors “neat”.