Joshua Abramovich: Style and Architecture through nonconformist lenses.

by Eduardo Mautner
November 11 2022

"I'd say that my nonlinear approach, I hope, inspires people to think in a nonlinear way"

Joshua Abramovich

BArch ; Architecture
Class of 2025

Joshua Abramovich explores the realms of Architecture and Fashion, tailoring buildings and constructing garments which bring the future to today's world. Josh's work challenges the norms of space and structure by expressing organic forms through industrial materials and highly conceptual forms that push the ideas of nonlinear environments and unconventionality. Besides those fields, his work also involves digital art and graphic abstraction.

EM: What is your biggest creativity-related interest at this moment?

JA: I would like to develop a collection of garments this semester. I’m also interested in the integration of audio, coding, and design to create unique experiences.

EM: Where do you get inspiration? What or who inspires your work?

JA: There is a set of creatives that I'm inspired by, like, historically. I'd say the architect who has the most similar work to mine is Frei Otto, who experimented with tensile structures. And really, his approach to design is very similar to mine - his philosophy. He did, experiments with soap bubbles, and he tried really unpractical approaches to experimenting for design. And then some other influences I have are Zaha Hadid, of course, and Ma Yansong from MAD Architects. I'd say those are my influences on the architecture side. And then from fashion, I'd say one of my main influences is the designer Hyein Seo, I hope I'm pronouncing her name right. And then I really like Heliot Emil and brands like C2H4. And I'm a big fan of Demna and Balenciaga. But I'd say that I don't have direct influences for my work. My approach is to look as much, I guess, inspiration as possible. So constantly I'm looking at the work of artists, designers, and students online, just consuming inspiration so that when I work on the project, I have so many references, there's so much imagery that I've looked at. So that just comes naturally to me when I work on the project.

EM: So you seem to be pretty interested both in fashion and architecture. Could you tell us more about if those fields intersect at all?

JA: Yeah, so I think my approaches to both intersect. So for architecture, I work on nonlinear structures, so they incorporate fabric. In order to make models out of them, I have to use techniques that are used in apparel, like pattern making and sewing, and applying that to my work in architecture. And then for fashion, I'd say one of the most important aspects to my work is proportions and scale, because I think that heavily influences the garment and that ties to the visual aspects and the design qualities of architecture. My aim in architecture and fashion would be for the two to merge so that you're just not wearing these avant-garde pieces in, like, a linear city like Manhattan. It doesn't make sense to me. Rather, having a world of architecture where fashion fits in, makes it not seem like this abstract idea, and it fits into society.

EM: What would you say is your biggest challenge when it comes to any design process?

JA: I'd say maybe the balance between conceptual design and functionality, particularly for my aesthetic or my style of design. It's very hard to actually construct, so that can take form in buildings or just, like, architecture or fashion. So trying to come up with designs that can actually function. For example, I designed this pair of shoes, and they are conceptual, so it's just renderings, and it's actually a shoe cover. But I would challenge myself to create a physical form of that. And even if I used durable materials, I don't even know how efficient the design would be. So I like to challenge myself more to create things that are more usable.

EM: Your work also has a lot of very organic looking forms. Can you explain more, like, where that approach comes from?

JA: Yeah. I will say that when I started out really designing in middle school, I was a huge fan of the modernist movement. So I was an advocate for white cubes and the narrow philosophy of, "you can only design these white cubes with glass." And they were sort of, like, pure design. And then as the years passed, I shifted away from that ideology, and I moved towards the idea of creating things that have never been seen before. Not for the sake of being, like, nonconformist, but I've just never been exposed to architecture like that, just like the rest of the world. So there's also the concept that some people think that organic design is just random, and you're just creating blobs, but in actuality, you're creating forms with intention, so you're implementing ideas like proportion and scale and hierarchy. There is actually a lot of consideration that goes into it, and as a designer, by using organic forms I'm challenging myself by creating things that are functional, but break the boundaries of linear design.

EM: Do you feel like the formal elements of fashion and architecture surrounding us have an influence in the way that people behave?

JA: Yeah. First, I'd say that my nonlinear approach, I hope, inspires people to think in a nonlinear way. So I'm not entirely against the idea of conformity. Like, you don't have to follow the logic that you have to be, like, this unique individual and portray yourself as this manifestation of a purely unique person. Like, with the clothes you wear and how you act, it's okay to follow things that other people are doing. At the same time, there's a sense of conformity that you always have to function like others. I like to challenge that with my design so that people can be more open to new ideas which can pass through the fields of the sciences and the humanities. So hopefully, I guess, my architecture and my passion can develop a society that is more open to new, useful thoughts.

EM: How would you define your art/designs’ philosophy and end goals?

JA: I aspire for the advancement of humanity and minimization of suffering through the development of a utopia. Whether I see major attempts towards this cause in my lifetime, I will advocate for experimentation and nonlinear approaches to design.

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