Talking to jurors. Marcio Kogan about simplicity

This year we’ve tasked our jurors with envisioning the future of product design. Each one of them had their own ideas to share with us and we’ve decided to collect their thoughts in a series of interviews called “Talking to Jurors”. We’ve asked all of them what they’re looking for in an entry and what they’re going to reward. Among all of their predictions and opinions, one stood out – design must be human and provide solutions that meet people’s needs. What is truly unforgettable is the product’s ability to improve the lives of everyone.


Here’s what the Brazilian Architect Marcio Kogan thinks of Product Design, opening up on the importance of going back to simplicity.


What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?

I’m going to reward the right balance of proportions, as well as the smart use of materials. I’d say I’m keen on rewarding quality rather than the desperate research of novelty.


Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays? 

Design Awards serve as an external recognition, which can help put the minds of good and melancholy Designers at peace.


In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?

Contemporary Product Design should go back to simplicity. To synthesis rather than excess.


Planar House by Studio MK27 (sketch)

P House by Studio MK27

Redux House by Studio MK27


About Marcio Kogan

Marcio Kogan (born March 6, 1952, São Paulo, Brazil) graduated from the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in 1976. He is the son of Aron Kogan, an engineer-architect, who became known in the 50’s and 60’s for the design and construction of large buildings in São Paulo, such as Edificio São Vito and Edificio Mirante do Vale. During the onset of his career, Marcio divided his time between cinema and architecture. In 1988, in partnership with Isay Weinfeld, his friend from university, he produced a feature-film called “Fire and Passion”, and, between 1995 and 2004, they did 5 exhibitions together about architecture and humor. In 2001, Marcio Kogan’s office changed its name to studio mk27 and since then has gained greater international projection.

Currently, besides what he is working on in Brazil, he also has projects in countries such as Singapore, Spain, Canada, USA and Puerto Rico. In 2011, Kogan was selected to be an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), for the entirety of his work, in a ceremony realized in New Orleans. In 2012, Studio MK27 represented Brazil in the Venice Biennale of Architecture, in the exhibition at the national pavilion curated by Lauro Cavalcanti, which also had an outstanding Lúcio Costa installation. Kogan’s projects are characterized by their architectural detail, formal simplicity, strong relations between the internal and external, great climactic comfort through passive sustainability, use of pure volumes and the application of traditional elements such as mashrabiyas and by designing a functional internal plan.

Furthermore, he favors the use of raw materials such as wood, concrete and stone. In his projects there is almost always a reference to Brazilian modern architecture, of which Marcio has already declared himself a great fan. The New York Times critic Paul Goldberger cited Kogan in 2013 as one of the principal references of Brazilian Contemporary Architecture.


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