Marta Herford (MH): A central topic in your work is the exploration of architecture and the question as to what architecture can be. Why are you interested in architecture?

Erika Hock (EH): Essentially I am always interested in the body and its relationship to built/constructed space. As such, I not only reference architecture but also and above all interior design or fashion. These areas are interrelated. For instance, they are embedded in similar economies of time. Although architecture arises very slowly, like fashion it has no complete presence, as it always lunges from the vision into the future, yet as soon as it is built it already seems outdated.

MH: Often one cannot classify your works clearly as model, furniture, sculpture or installation. The conventional separation of art, architecture and design blurs. What appeals to you about this kind of border crossing? Can visual art ‘learn’ something from architecture and design?

EH: I don’t believe there is a clear separation between the fields. The intermediate space is so vast that you can’t talk about boundaries here. It’s precisely this intermediate space that fascinates me, a space in which you can decide for yourself what is in front of you. Lots of architects and designers have created objects in the past that were not simply objects of utility but also told stories about stories that, for their part, were read differently over the decades. In my case, Cineorama, for example, was first a sculpture and a model. And even as a built pavilion it still has an ambiguous status – is it furniture or architecture? It was always important to me that an object have the potential to transform into something else. Unambiguous structures quickly become boring. It’s much more interesting to venture onto shaky ground.

MH: You frequently make reference to architectural or design icons. Are your works a kind of ‘homage’? Or paraphrase? Or statement? Or are you interested in the special and innovative form of these icons?

EH: It depends on the piece. With Dreischeibenhaus for instance, it is the innovative form and the function that it takes in the city, namely that of urban partition. The idea appealed to me and led me to make it into a room-dividing item of furniture. The piece For Charlotte P. is more of an homage. In this case I was interested in the circumstances under which French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand worked. In my view she was far more open to experimentation and more playful than her famous colleague Le Corbusier, but remained in his shadow. Her approach to the so-called objets trouvés, which everyone knows only from Le Corbusier, went much further, as she staged and photographed the found objects. For me that is much more exciting. I based one of her found objects on one of her photos and developed it further, in a way.

MF: You often work with modular systems and variable structures, which are also present in the work of Heinz and Bodo Rasch. Do you see interfaces and/or parallels between your works and those of the Rasch brothers?

EH: To be honest, I only knew of the Rasch brothers’ chairs and not their architecture designs. I took an interest in the history of the cantilever chair and came across the Sitzgeiststuhl. I see parallels in how the body is approached. I was fascinated by how keen the two were on designing a chair that practically moulds to the body. Moreover, I love the brothers’ subtle humour: Sitzgeiststuhl is a great name for a chair and the reference to Christian Morgenstern’s poem is wonderful.

MH: Numerous artists have occupied themselves with architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries and partly also designed buildings and structures themselves. With Cineorama – Pavilion of Moving Images, you created a nomadic and temporary structure. Would you like to design and subsequently construct a building?

EH: That’s a clear yes. I already have done so with Cineorama of course, but I’d do it again in an instant. I am very interested in pavilions, as they can be seen both as sculpture and architecture and there is always something playful about them. At the moment however I’d rather fit out buildings than build them – ideally a bar or hotel. Or a kindergarten. I am currently designing objects for playgrounds, known as playscapes, inspired by Isamu Noguchi.