In Conversation / 1st Quarter 2021

JAN GLASMEIER

by Candice Lim

Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

In today’s world of increasingly advanced technologies and seemingly complex algorithms, keeping things simple could ironically turn out to be difficult. When it comes to architecture, glass and steel skyscrapers and towers do not seem to be slowing down, but rather spurred on by technological advancement.

As is often the case with technology, people expect the end results to be grand and voluminous with bells and whistles. And so, such expectations drive demand, and the cycle goes on, resulting in an endless pursuit of fantastical constructions and the resulting depletion of Earth’s resources required to build them.

Jan Glasmeier of Simple.Architecture is among a handful of architects who believe in keeping things simple. That the art and science of designing buildings and spaces should be first and foremost about the locality of the project—the local community; its needs and wants; accessibility; and the use of local, natural materials. He has participated in numerous building projects and workshops around Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand. Now back in London, Glasmeier continues to teach and seeks to do more pro-bono projects in Asia once it is possible to do so.

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