OMMX is a London-based architecture practice run by Jon Lopez and Hikaru Nissanke.
Standout projects include Naked House, the design for the Dali Duchamp exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts and a new gallery and bookshop for Marian Goodman.
What’s on the horizon for OMMX?
Jon: Other than public projects, which is where we would like to work more, we would like to tackle the affordability crisis, but not exclusively through the lens of housing – it seems scarcity has become the natural resting state for how to approach construction or building projects but we are interested in how an economy of thinking (ideas/concepts etc) might be more closely allied to an economy of means i.e beyond the requirement that we just need to make things cheaper.
What do you like to listen to while working?
Jon: I have a fairly strict no-music policy while I work. I find it difficult to concentrate unless it's fairly ambient background music.
I listen to podcasts more than music. '99% invisible', 'S-Town' and 'The Adam Buxton Podcast' are some of my frequent listens.
What tool, digital or analogue, can you not live without?
Jon: Intuition and wit are indispensable tools ;-)
"Brian Eno. He is very humble but has an incredible breadth to what he does."
What are you currently reading?
Hikaru: ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari.
Jon: ‘The Good Life’ by Inaki Abalos. It’s a compendium of different modernist houses in film and literature. We are visiting architecture critics for the London outpost of Syracuse University and this is a key text for the students’ brief this year.
Imagine it’s a late night and you have a deadline. What’s the takeaway craving? (We are not promoting working late.)
Jon: Vietnamese and it’ll be a tofu rice box for me.
Do you have any studio rituals or habits?
Jon: My routine with Hikaru’s has some productive slippage. I usually get in a couple of hours earlier than everyone else in the morning and Hikaru stays for a couple of hours later.
What are the biggest myths you see in your field?
Jon: Not everything can be solved with drawing.
Sometimes the most important thing or issue in a project is not rooted in drawing. It’s helpful to search for more lateral and plural ways to solve problems.
Any advice for a younger self or for someone entering the field?
Hikaru: Stay enthusiastic.
Jon: Stay foolish.
"Intuition and wit are indispensable tools."
Do you have a favourite city in Europe?
Jon: He's going to say somewhere in Italy, guaranteed.
Hikaru: I’m actually going for somewhere on the Iberian peninsula.
Jon: For me, it’s Porto. The people are lovely, the food’s good and there’s plenty of nice architecture.
Who do you admire creatively?
Jon: Brian Eno. From what I can see, he is quiet and humble, but there is an incredible breadth to what he does - in fact every creative environment should have a box of Oblique Strategies.
Other people I admire are Larry David, Zinedine Zidane and Armando Iannucci - my admiration doesn't stretch beyond the follically challenged I'm afraid.
Hikaru: Italo Calvino, notably for ‘Cosmicomics’, a collection of short stories where each story is built around a scientific fact.
Quickfire round! Pick 1 of the 2 choices that comes to your mind.
Hip hop or Jazz? Hip hop
Red or Blue? Blue
Kahn or Aalto? Aalto
Kitchen or Living Room? Kitchen
Brick or Concrete? Concrete
Summer or Winter? Winter
Serif or Sans-serif? Serif
Museum or Library? Museum