The Icon 20/20 Architects: Emilio Marin 01.05.09

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UDEM Valle Alto High School, 2005

In an interview last year, Chilean architect Emilio Marin revealed his two favourite Youtube videos as a clip of a Spiderman impersonator at a birthday party and a scene from Jean-Luc Godard's film Le Mepris with Villa Malaparte in the background. His eclectic practice is located somewhere between these two poles. Mixing influences from pop culture, the internet and contemporary art, Marin's Santiago-based Oficina De Arquitectura has designed furniture for a library, created a memorial for the victims of Augusto Pinochet's junta, presided over a number of smart conversions, and turned out numerous items of graphic design, including a pair of bulbous-headed gender-markers resembling bathroom signs for an alien spaceship. "I feel much more like some kind of art director," says Marin.

On these terms, Marin appreciates his place in the architectural culture of Chile as unusual and identifies his key influences as lying outside the profession. "I could mention some architects from Switzerland or Japan, but the truth is that I am more inspired by photographers, artists, designers or music groups."




Adam Laycock



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