'Ideas don’t just come from God': Exclusive Blueprint interview with Liz Diller

The co-founder of Diller Scofidio + Renfro talks to Blueprint about the importance of collaboration in an exclusive video interview

Each year, Blueprint magazine speaks to two leading architects on the theme of collaboration: what does it mean to them? What role has collaboration played in the evolution of their work?

In an exclusive filmed interview, which you can watch below, we sat down with US architect and co-founder of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Liz Diller, ahead of the opening of her practice’s latest project, the new MoMA in New York. But what did she have to say about collaboration?

‘When we started the studio, it was just Ric Scofidio and myself and I didn’t know how to share anything — I didn’t know how to collaborate,’ Diller told Blueprint editor Johnny Tucker. But that soon changed — and Diller explains her thoughts on collaboration now:

‘Ideas don’t just come from God, they don’t come from the heavens. I think that ideas come from really, really hard work and it’s sometimes very hard to manage that work solo — it takes longer to get there. What’s really great about working with other people that you respect — and when they’re not intimidated by the conversation, often it is combative — is that you get somewhere, you challenge each other and you’re thinking on the spot. It’s fresh and you don’t really necessarily believe in what you’re putting out there but you’re testing ideas.

‘I think that the most creative ideas and solutions really come that way — they don’t come from plotting and thinking hard about a problem, it usually comes from the 99% of garbage that comes out of discussions and tests, then something crystallises out of somewhere and it could be out of the most unexpected person or in an unexpected way.’

You can watch the full interview below. We also sat down with British architect Amanda Levete to discuss her thoughts on collaboration. Full transcripts of both interviews can be found in Issue 367 of Blueprint, on sale in November.

Our sincere thanks goes to Diller Scofidio + Renfro, as well as to Arper, who kindly provided the venue for the interviews and supported the filming.

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