Interviews | August 11, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

Interview: Eddy Tavio
Luca Curci talks with Eddy Tavio during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2023, held in Venice, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Eddy Tavio is an accomplished project designer at Populous, a global architecture and design firm headquartered across London, Brisbane and Kansas City. Eddy’s passion for architecture began at an early age, and he has since established himself as a rising star in the industry, with a focus on conceptual design and creative exploration.
In 2020, Eddy was awarded the Young Architect Prize from the University of Kansas, recognizing his exceptional talent and potential as an emerging architect. More recently, he was noted as one of five architects to know by Sports Business Journal, highlighting his expertise in designing cutting-edge projects that push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability.

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

Luca Curci – We were attracted by the project you have shown, has it been created for the festival or is it a part of preexisting works?
Eddy Tavio – These are part of my existing portfolio.

LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you? 
ET – The concept of the festival was very thought-provoking. The theme, FUTURE LANDSCAPES, resonated deeply with me, as it aligns seamlessly with my ongoing explorations into the future of architecture.

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – What are you currently working on?
ET – Deep into several engagements at the moment, my current favourite is a new type of community asset in the Town of Cary, North Carolina, USA. The building is a collection of high-performing assets combined into a single “ground scraper” across a 10-acre site. The architecture incorporates a community centre for the residents, a sports centre to draw regional and national sports tourism, a hyperflex arena, and a 2,000 SQM ballroom event space — all overlooking a beautiful park. The client group is visionary and has been fantastic to work with. 

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – In which way the project you presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
ET – The Imagined Realities exhibit I presented prompts introspection regarding the interplay of art, technology, and human consciousness — my aim was to ignite a dialogue about the transformative potential of AI as a tool for creative expression, enabling us to translate the intangible into visual form. By transcending the constraints of physical reality, the video invites viewers on an intellectual journey, questioning the very nature of existence and the power of human imagination. The intricate compositions and otherworldly aesthetics challenge conventional notions of photography, blurring the lines between what is real and what is imagined, and ultimately leading you to ponder about the FUTURE LANDSCAPES of our world. As viewers immerse themselves in these captivating landscapes that exist only in the artist’s mind, they are invited to explore their own inner landscapes and confront the depths of their imagination. The video serves as a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when art and artificial intelligence converge, opening new realms of artistic exploration and challenging our perception of what is real.

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – Which project has given you the most satisfaction thus far?
ET – While it’s challenging to single out one project due to our collaboration with many wonderful clients, I am eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas. This immersive event venue boasts an extraordinary 54,000 SQM of LED-clad exterior, conceived as a dynamic canvas for both art and brand storytelling. Seeing this visionary concept come to life through the collaboration of an incredible, multi-disciplinary team has been so inspiring. 

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – When has your practice been founded?
ET – The origins of our firm trace back to 1983, subsequently, we embraced the name Populous in 2009. Since that transformation– since then our singular vision has been to draw people together for unforgettable experiences. 

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
ET – I was originally born in Venezuela – La Guaira is a beautiful port town off the coast of the Caribbean ocean with its quaint Spanish architecture and spooky pirate ghost stories — so many visitors from all over the world come to our beaches. Growing up in such a rich fabric really fueled my curiosity about the world, which eventually led me to work on architecture that is deeply connected to people. 

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – Which architects inspire you the most?
ET – Zaha Hadid and Frank Llyod Wright have been big inspirations. Zaha for her tenancy to push technology in architecture, which historically our profession has not had the strongest track record; and FLW for giving an identity to American architecture. the US is such a young country we borrowed much of its architectural identity, I appreciate FLW and by extension many of the early American modernists for their contributions to the urban landscape. 

LC – How would you define your responsibility as an architect?
ET – I like to talk less about style and more about lasting cultural value. The modernist idea of “form follows function” has, over time, cemented the idea that architecture is strictly a commodity whose only purpose is to solve a very specific, utilitarian need. While solving functional needs is at the core of our work, creating lasting cultural value is my highest ambition.

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in your buildings? If so, what role does green building play in your work?
ET – We are at a critical time in history where sustainability has transcended being a mere trend; it’s a pivotal philosophy that redefines the very essence of design. Sustainable architecture doesn’t just create buildings; it crafts a new vision for living on this planet, breathing full-circle ecosystems that harmonize with their surroundings. The value of sustainability in architecture is its potential to forge a future where structures don’t merely exist, but actively contribute to a thriving, interconnected world. 

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

LC – Do you usually cooperate with museums, architecture studios or other institutions? If so, for what kind of projects?
ET – Absolutely – Collaboration is integral to our practice given the complexity and scale of our work. We are constantly seeking the best partners in order to do what is best for any given project.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
ET – ITSLIQUID has been an invaluable platform for connecting with passionate and ambitious individuals. Beyond the impressive showcase of work, the platform excels at building community – facilitating enriching interactions with talented artists and curators.

LC – What do you think about our organization of the event?
ET – Wonderful venue and organizers – I can’t wait for the next opportunity to connect. 

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Image courtesy of Eddy Tavio

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