A Garment Fabricator, Set Designer, and Architect walk into a bar


Reciprocal Landscapes

Volume 9, Issue 02
November 3, 2023

A Garment Fabricator, Set Designer, and Architect walk into a bar and have a conversation about cross-disciplinary reciprocity:

In a sentence or two, please describe yourself and your specialization:
Medha Uppal: I would not consider myself so specialized in anything—I work more laterally. The way I interact in my practice with art and design is constantly renewing and refreshing into the next thing. Being a beginner is a lifetime thing!

Isabelle Arnone: I am a multidisciplinary artist specializing in fibers and textiles—I aim to exhibit a devotion to concept and material by engaging in processes that allow me to explore the tactile components of the medium through time-extensive intricacy.

Jentz Zirbel: I’m a well-rounded and adaptable architect with discernment and the ability to realize ideas.

Can you describe interdisciplinary collaboration?
Medha Uppal: It is a lovely reminder that it takes a village to make something. It reflects the scope of what I know, what others know, and how that space in between invites the weirdest but best designs—that intersection is gold.

Isabelle Arnone: Interdisciplinary collaboration grants perspective, concept, and dialogue around the project or idea. It is important to me in the creative space because art, architecture, and design will always involve multiple disciplines. It will always extend into a social, political, economic, and psychological space, making space for new ideas, critical thinking, problem-solving, growth, judgment, etc.
Jentz Zirbel: All of architecture is inherently interdisciplinary—accepting responsibility, accepting difficulty and challenges, having a willingness to lead, doing things that feel the most exciting for everyone involved, compromising, not compromising, maintaining individuality, learning, and teaching.

Can you describe a positive or negative experience regarding interdisciplinary collaboration?

Medha Uppal: Annoyance is interesting. There is a side where I have become annoyed because of some trouble communicating processes and ideas with others. This is what I found to be the key to collaboration, as without it, people get unheard and frustrated, and everything can get haphazard.

Isabelle Arnone: For me, there is always the fear of making mistakes or humiliating yourself when exhibiting your craft to others, especially another discipline. There are things you could miss that another person (either from the same discipline or another) could point out. But I think it is honorable to accept that we are always students, never masters. That will lead us to a practice of humble authenticity.

Jentz Zirbel: I worked on a lighting/production design project with a friend who is an industrial designer, so we both didn’t exactly know what we were doing, but it felt very fruitful because of the acceptance of whatever new idea either of us had. Collaborating in a new space that neither of us really had expertise in was a great experience

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Volume 9, Issue 02
November 3, 2023

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