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50 / 50 EVA JIRICNA Architect

These interviews by Sutherland Lyall will form the basis of the 50/50 exhibition at Interbuild 2002.

What is the best building of the past 50 years?

The Guggenheim in New York because it was built as a museum but people called it a washing machine. It was the first real example of the modern architecture of the present time.

What is the most significant innovation of the past 50 years?

Maybe laser cutting. Maybe lighting, tungsten and fluorescent, cold cathode and non-reflective, and dichroics and low voltage LEDs.And what you can now do with light.But certainly - ever since it became a structural material - anything to do with glass. When our practice started to use glass, you could really only use it for glazing. You couldn't do much with the edges, you couldn't reliably drill holes in it, you couldn't walk on it.Now you can even use it as structural members.

What is the best building product of the past 50 years?

The T-shirt. It didn't exist when I was a girl. I had to iron my shirts.

You can wear T-shirts travelling and when you are designing in the office and hanging out at home.You can go to a party in one.Or the gym. It's the universal product.

What innovation do you hope to see in the next 50 years?

I would like to think we would have worked out another source of energy other than petroleum or nuclear fission. Whatever the source of energy, we have to go cordless. Whenever we do an interiors job, we have to effectively build walls in front of all the other walls to hide all the cabling for power, security, and data. There comes a stage when any quantitative increase reaches overload and you have a revolution. In the cabling of buildings, that point has now been reached.

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