Topotheque is an award winning design studio that engages in a broad spectrum of activities with a main focus on design in its various expressions, including Architecture and Industrial design as well as graphic and plastic arts. From Ioannina to California Topoteque studio was founded by Iason and Evangelos Pantazis. Iason is a registered architect in Greece and currently teaches Architecture at the University of Patras and at the University of Ioannina.
He holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and prior to this he studied Architecture and Media in Delft, Weimar and Thessaloniki. His personal and collaborative work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine Museum in Athens. He is also the founder of the Fab Lab Lasercutter.gr and he lives and works in Ioannina.
Tell us a bit about your background. In what way do you think your architectural style was influenced by your upbringing?
Growing up in a family that all its members are architects is inevitable to end up being one, especially since it’s such an exciting profession that poses challenges everyday and demands an inventive way of dealing with problems and a constantly tranforming point of view. Other than that.. Lego?
What your general interests and goals in design ?
Our interest in design lies on one hand in pushing the limits of how we perceive our world and on the other hand in how we can effectively address problems and real life complexity via design. Our goal is to explore the impact of digital age and computation on the way we conceptualize, formalize and construct objects and of course its impact on us, as human beings and personalities.
“We are not constrained by movements and styles, but rather get inspired by people and work that push the boundary of their disciplines.”
Who are your biggest influences: people, movements and styles?
There are quite a few and span from engineering and science to urban culture and graphic arts. Most of them have nothing to do with architecture and design.
We are not constrained by movements and styles, but rather get inspired by people and work that push the boundary of their disciplines. As T.S. Elliot once said : “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal”. So since we want to be good “thieves”, we would rather not say.
–What work of yours has been the most satisfying to you and why ?
Of course there are milestones in what we have already succeeded, but probably the most satisfying work for us is the one that lies ahead; by that we mean that we are so stoked with future and what’s next to come
What are some of your biggest challenges ?
Working on the intersection of digital technology and craftmanship in order to produce compelling and cutting edge projects with reference to the social impact and the technical tradition of our profession.
What do you most and least enjoy about your job ?
We tend to approach life in an optimistic manner, so we try to enjoy every moment at our job and turn upside down all these things that make us mad. In every obstacle that life poses, there is a chance that waits to be discovered
“Nothing is boring, but not everything is interesting; finding out is always amazing and that’s what keeps us going…”
How do you stay creatively motivated?
We travel a lot and at the same time we keep exploring our inner selves. We educate and get educated on an academic and practical level daily Nothing is boring, but not everything is interesting; finding out is always amazing and that’s what keeps us going…
If you had just one piece advice for aspiring architects, what would that be.
Do, Undo, Redo – Iterate
What are your goals for the future ?
Keep challenging ourselves and contributing to our communities by creating innovative designs, which blur the borders between architecture and art, design and craft.
See more from Topotheque’s work at: www.topotheque.com
The Daydreamers team