‘We need more love,’ says Guto Requena a Brazilian architect and designer with a masters in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of São Paulo (USP). For nine years he was a researcher at the university’s Center for Interactive Living Studies –  NOMADS.USP and went on to found his eponymous studio in 2008. The practice – specialising in interior architecture, interactive installations and product design – focuses on interactivity, new digital technologies, cyberculture, hybrid realities, affective memory and Brazilian culture.

Ahead of Requena’s main stage talk at WDCD Live Amsterdam on May 25th we caught up with him for a quick Q&A.

What has been the pivotal moment in your career so far?
‘The past two years when I decided to focus on Interactive Public Art. When I realised the big potential of these kinds of projects to requalify abandoned public spaces.’ 

What challenges do you face in your work?
‘To make more significant projects, that could impact more people’s lives and improve their life quality of life.’

What keeps you up at night?
‘When I’m creating a new exciting project. I love spending the night trying out sketches for shapes and concepts. I also love dancing to good electronic music.’

What do you hope will be the takeaway of this year’s edition of WDCD Amsterdam?
‘Good ideas that have a positive impact on people and our cities. It’s urgent to stop making beautiful products and instead use our creative energy to make design that really impacts positively on our planet. We must heal our cities with technology and love.’

What advice would you give to designers addressing societal challenges?
‘Look closer at people and their needs. We don’t need another chair, we need to survive, we need more love. Design is a powerful tool to help us.’

What would you like to share with the creative community?
‘We should all challenge ourselves to produce more design projects with social impact. This should be our main goal.’

Top image: The installation Can You Tell Me a Secret? by Guto Requena is a set of interactive street furniture aimed at reviving a deserted square in São Paulo and inciting the locals to meet and know each other / photo by Leonardo Finotti