Trade cxlv | Month 19 | Summer

Andrew D'Occhio | Architect


Andrew sent me detailed drawings of a space he designed in Brisbane. When I looked at the drawings I had that reaction one gets when someone has just asked you to photograph something that you’d happily move mountains to photograph. Luckily I didn’t have to move mountains or even fly over them to see this project.

The Pixel Trade was to photograph the adaptable space of Black Star Coffee Roaster’s in Brisbane city, that mr. D’Occhio designed. We also went through a construction site of another project of his, to capture a moment in time before completion. Andrew is a young architect doing some of the most inventive, thoughtful and interesting designs from a single brain. He pulls spaces apart and once that is done, he pulls the concepts apart and once that is done, he pulls the meaning of life apart, just for the hell of it, then puts it all back together to create spaces that go beyond what the ‘client’ could’ve ever thought.

| note: if the images don't fit on your screen, don't be frightened to click on them |

Interview with Andrew


Describe your most memorable adventure as a child.

Father & son sailing trip to a remote uninhabited island. We almost died. More than once.

When you start a design, do you have any rituals you go through beforehand?

Dig for info/background on client/s and the world they inhabit.

Is the role of an architect changing? If so where do you see it heading?

I’m not sure it’s ever been a fixed thing. The primary influences on the production processes of the built environment; tech, cultural expectations, political/economic ideologies, etcetera have continued to evolve as our species has occupied more territory on earth at ever increasing densities. Perhaps the more pertinent question is whether historically successful models of squeezing architectural knowledge into these processes are still successful and therefore relevant, if not how might we adapt? Neoliberalism, surely the dominant ideology of our age, is certainly testing our ability to deploy our body of knowledge to enrich the lives of people.

What are three principal things you apply to your work?

Empathy, Ideas, Thrift, in that order.

What is the first thing you ask a client?

What’s the real project, the project around/above our project, ie. starting a business, making a home for a family, renewing an organization, developing a cultural scene, education, capital gain etc.

Is there someone in your life that has influenced you over and over again?

Two someones, my father and mother.

What was the most dangerous time of your life?

Refer question 1.

What do you do to slow down the mind?

Alone time, quiet, reading, film, media, a view, reflection, and mammal stuff, food, sex, sleep.

Describe your most memorable adventure as an adult.

Donovan Hill.

If you had to recommend a favourite music album, what would it be?

Jeez, cause it’s on high rotation King Krule 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, or Darkside Psychic, for the same reason.