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"Architecture needs to engage in the arts and the city" says Synecdoche Principal Lisa Sauve

Synecdoche Principal Lisa Sauve shares 3 books that have influenced her life in architecture.

April 2019

Lisa Sauve architect Synecdoche founder

Lisa Sauve

Principal & Co-Founder at Synecdoche Design Studio

As principal at Synecdoche, I lead a variety of projects in our studio from interiors, furniture, to architecture. I've previously taught and am currently on the board of directors at Ann Arbor Art Center as well as a planning commissioner for the City of Ann Arbor. I think that architecture needs to engage in the arts and the city to make the most impact.

What 3 books have impacted your life in architecture and why?

Out Of Control: The New Biology Of Machines, Social Systems, And The Economic World

Kevin Kelly

Understanding how systems work and the interaction between digital, physical, and cognitive is both overwhelming and exhilarating. Kevin Kelly unpacks complex systems in very accessible ways that both explain how they work and make them translatable to other applications. Thinking about how these tactics might work in the design and engagement of architecture has always been an interest in the back of my mind.

Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life's Work

Kevin Carroll

Super simple but in the most magical of ways. This book was always a great launching point for motivation and inspiration. Sometimes all you need is 10 minutes with 40 pages to get your inner voice to say "go for it" loud enough to start taking creative risks.

Pamphlet Architecture 21: Situation Normal

Lewis & Tsurumaki Lewis

A mentor and friend shared this book with me during one of my first design studios. I lost her in 2011 but still hold many of our conversations and books shared close in my heart and a huge impact to who I am in the profession. This book is a solid example of critical thinking, tactical representation, and design theme.

Synecdoche marries architecture and industrial design into one studio. What is your long-term vision for this union?

Fabrication and craft is part of our overall strategy to constantly loop together the relationships of materials and details at a small scale with the architectural experience at a larger scale. We never intend to be a design-build form and move into construction, instead the goal is to tool up to create specific and custom pieces that relate to the overall design goals and also add to our own knowledge and research base to apply to projects in the future. We also work with other architects to collaborate on design and fabrication of pieces in their projects when it benefits everyone from a design contribution and development standpoint.

What skills & talents should young architects be developing for the future of architecture?

Tangent skills in design are critical to push architecture in new directions. Scripting code, different fabrication techniques both analog and digital, an understanding of material technologies and uses, videography, graphic design, furniture and industrial design all play into the ways we look at architecture. We’ve had team members with backgrounds in art, horrors, literature, marketing, industrial design, conservation, interior design, and of course architecture add to the dialogue of how we design.

About Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a design/make architecture studio. The office explores how design can impact at multiple scales of architecture for simultaneous design solutions. As a small practice we work in a fast and nimble environment as an effective production technique. Architecture creates opportunities to work in multiple scales within the same discipline. Our belief is that tangibles and experiences are simultaneous design problems. We work to create a studio for design models that work with personalities, business, culture,  lifestyle and play.

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