Health, happiness and wellbeing
JW: How is this approach that you call ‘Taking Time' reflected in your buildings?
AK: I do believe the purpose of architecture is health, happiness and wellbeing for humans, individually and collectively. Architecture is required by humans because our biology needs it. But sometimes we wind up doing things because we are creatures of habit, even if it doesn't serve us well. We are on autopilot making matchbox houses. And it is this commodified version of architecture that keeps getting perpetuated. So, my first step was to radically question my personal use of time to think before I act. That was the point when I liberated my personal time by taking big risks and seeing what it is like when you reduce things.
One of the issues is that mainstream industrialisation had started influencing the way we think. When we think of paper, we think of an A4. We all have the same WC. And it's the same with homes but the standard home doesn't work for many people. Why don't we say ‘Okay here are the things that we want to offer as a standard product, and here are the areas that you can do on your own, so we can express individuality.’ You go to old cities like Venice, and the whole city has one kind of signature, but within it everything seems a little different. Everybody says that material rethinking is going to be expensive, but in reality it is only more expensive from the point of view of laziness and habits. Somehow, I think Covid has caused us to connect because we all have similar questions and that gives a lot of hope. Now we know that we can behave differently. We can be flexible. We can adapt.