Friday Five with Asifa Tirmizi

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This week’s Friday Five checks out Asifa Tirmizi, principal and co-founder of Tirmizi Campbell, a New York City-based architecture and interior design studio. A childhood full of drawing, sketching, and painting, all while joining her architect father on job sites, gave her a unique perspective when it came to floor plans and construction, so a career in architecture was kismet. A Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Industrial Design from the University of Alberta in 1996 was followed by a Master of Architecture from RISD. As if that wasn’t enough, Tirmizi went back to school in 2006 to receive a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from New York University. Four degrees later, she found herself working at the Guggenheim Museum designing exhibits, while teaching at Pratt Institute before co-founding her current studio with Scot Campbell. Let’s see what this busy architect and designer finds inspiring.

1. New York City
I’ve lived in NYC for over 15 years now and I love that I can still be inspired by simply walking around and experiencing the dynamic streetscape of the City. I feel NYC is a city that is inseparable from its residents, mutually constitutive, where we are shaped by its culture and its culture is shaped by us.

Photo via Fallingwater.org

Photo via Fallingwater.org

2. Fallingwater
Every few years, I find myself drawn to visiting Fallingwater, for me, it is one of the most fascinating buildings of the 20th Century. Not only is it perfectly integrated with the landscape, it appeals to all of our senses, being visually dramatic and layered with textures and sounds of nature. Equally impressive is the simple reinforced concrete structure which makes it seemingly suspended into mid-air.

Photo by Abbot Genser, HBO

Photo by Abbot Genser, HBO

3. Boardwalk Empire
Although the series was centered around violent vengeances and tarnished romances (which I admittedly enjoy watching), I became obsessed with the era’s elegant style admiring the impeccable period pieces that fill each scene including the tufted upholstery, ornately carved wood and velvet curtains, not to mention the shimmery costumes and crystal glassware.

F5-Asifa-Tirmizi-4-Calatrava_Orient-Station

4. Fractals
A Fractal is a pattern that is never ending that repeats itself at different scales. Fractals are found in nature and in math, although they are complex, they are made by repeating a simple process. One of my favorite architects, Santiago Calatrava’s work is often influenced by fractals.

Photo by Patrick Landy

Photo by Patrick Landy

5. The Sistine Chapel
One of my favorite places to sit and reflect is the Sistine Chapel. To me, it’s both beautiful and spiritual because it makes me visualize the process that went into painting it rather than only focusing on the outcome. I appreciate the bold color, the stories and visual beauty, but I’m fixated on the physical process that Michelangelo would have gone through which gives much more meaning to the end results.