José García & Jesús Limón on Building for the Future

Alumni José F. García (BArch ’05) and Jesús Fernando Limón (BArch ’05) founded Prismática architects in 2012 in San Diego. Prismática aims to deliver architectural design services to a variety of clients, and is involved with the local community through cultural and art events through a constant collaboration with artists, fabricators, musicians, filmmakers, and educators. We recently caught up with José and Jesús to discuss their personal career path and how they came together to build projects for the future.

Interview with José García and Jesús Limón

Q: Why did you choose to study architecture?

Jesus: I was trained in technical drafting at a young age, where I got introduced to the basics of architectural representation, and model building. The idea of imagining a building and seeing it become reality was very attractive, which led me to choose architecture later on.

Jose: I was always working within my imagination to draw and build, and once I was exposed to architecture it seemed like a natural progression.

Q: You’ve seen San Diego evolve and develop. What role do you believe architects play in urban development?

As architects and designers we should be critical of our urban environment. Our role is to interpret our current urban conditions and propose alternatives that move our cities into more dynamic, inclusive and adaptive places. During our experience practicing architecture in San Diego we realized how heavily regulated the build environment is. Our approach has been to understand the rules and maneuver with them. There is a degree of taunting in our projects, where irony has become part of our aesthetic.

Q: You founded Prismática in 2012. Why did you want to start your own practice, and what kind of projects do you want to work on?

We both had this aspiration of exploring the architectural practice by doing things our own way. After getting some experience with early projects we became a valuable asset in the construction industry. We soon identified a craving for architecture that deals with tight budgets and requires astute solutions.

It was also clear that our practice should engage both sides of the US mexican border considering that we grew up in border towns. Today we have expanded our practice to the Mexican side, where we are learning new ways of working and enjoying more creative freedom.

 

Q: Architects often face questions of narrowing project scopes. With changes in climate, technology, and construction techniques, how do you think architects and designers will adapt ways of practicing to advance the profession?

The architectural practice is in constant change and is probably about to change exponentially faster with the introduction of new technologies and the constant political uncertainty. This is something that we always have in mind and has kept us very open to different kinds of projects, construction systems, materials and programmatic challenges. The work we are currently doing is preparing us for whatever comes next. Every project produces new knowledge that facilitates our understanding of our environment allowing us to be able to execute more complex and interesting architecture.

Q: What projects have you enjoyed working on most?

The projects that we have enjoy are usually the ones that conceive a personal connection with the client. It is great when their goals and interests align with ours, producing a more compelling outcome. We have been able to meet great people and in many cases keep those relationships outside of business.

Q: What advice would you give to students and designers who aspire to follow a similar career path?

Always be passionate. Become resilient, resourceful and patient.

Q: What three words would you use to describe Woodbury?

Studio Culture. Exploration. Friends

 

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