Annabelle Selldorf

In the Season 3 premiere, Ana Miljački speaks with Annabelle Selldorf about how falling in love with projects can result in heartbreak, what it means to transcend style, and the limitations of typological experience.

Recorded August 22, 2023. Read a transcript of the episode below.

Annabelle Selldorf

Annabelle Selldorf founded her New York City-based architectural design practice Selldorf Architects in 1988, which has since grown into a 70-person firm. The firm designs both public and private projects that range from museums and libraries to recycling facilities, and at scales from large, new construction to historic renovations to exhibition design. Its clients include some of the most important art and cultural institutions and universities in New York and internationally, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego; the Neue Gallery and the Frick Museum in New York City; The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the National Gallery in London; and Brown University, among others. Selldorf Architects have created numerous homes for art and for artists, as well as residential architecture and a materials recovery plant—all of which have been described as “quietly great.” Selldorf is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the board of The Architectural League of New York and the Chinati Foundation. In 2010, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg honored Selldorf with a Public Design Commission award for the design of the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility. In 2014, Selldorf received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for architecture. In 2016, she received the Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architecture, New York.

About I Would Prefer Not To

Conceived and produced by MIT’s Critical Broadcasting Lab and presented with The Architectural League, I Would Prefer Not To1Herman Melville, “Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street,” The Piazza Tales (1856). tackles a usually unexamined subject: the refusal of an architectural commission. Why do architects make the decision to forfeit the possibility of work? At what point is a commission not worth it? When in one’s career is it necessary to make such a decision? Whether concealed out of politeness or deliberately shielded from public scrutiny, architects’ refusals usually go unrecorded by history, making them difficult to analyze or learn from. In this series of recorded interviews, I Would Prefer Not To aims to shed light on the complex matrix of agents, stakeholders, and circumstances implicated in every piece of architecture.


Transcript lightly edited and provided for reference only. May not accurately capture all aspects of the conversation.

Ana Miljački 00:22
Hello and thank you for tuning in. I’m Ana Miljački, Professor of Architecture at MIT and director of the Critical Broadcasting Lab. And on behalf of The Architectural League of New York and the Critical Broadcasting Lab, I welcome you to our architecture podcast series titled, I Would Prefer Not To. This season of the podcast is supported in part by the Graham Foundation. I Would Prefer Not To is an oral history project conducted through audio interviews on the topic of perhaps the most important kind of refusal in architects’ toolboxes, refusal of the architectural commission. By definition, the topic of refusal stays hidden from public scrutiny, and thus also hidden from history. Withdrawals of this kind tend not to leave paper trails and are not easy to examine or learn from. And yet, the lessons contained in architects’ deliberations about and decisions not to engage are politically relevant and urgent. Decisions to not engage a commission, or types of commissions, or commissions with certain characteristics inevitably forfeit potential profit, placing other values above it, at least momentarily. I’m talking to Annabelle Selldorf today. Thank you for joining me, Annabelle.

Annabelle Selldorf 01:37
Hi Ana.

Ana 01:39
Annabelle Selldorf founded her architectural design practice Selldorf Architects in 1988. It is now a 70-person firm in New York. Selldorf Architects has worked on public and private projects that range from museums and libraries to recycling facility and at scales that include large new construction, historic renovations and exhibition design. The office’s clients have included some of the most important art and cultural institutions and universities in New York and internationally, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Neue Gallery in New York, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Frick, the National Gallery in London, and Brown University, among others. Selldorf Architects have created numerous homes for art and for artists, as well as some residential architecture and a materials recovery plant, all of which have been described as quietly great. Selldorf is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the board of the Architectural League of New York and the Chinati Foundation. In 2010, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg honored Selldorf with a Public Design Commission award for the design of the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility. In 2014, Selldorf received the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for architecture. And in 2016, she received the Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architecture, New York. And there are many other accolades that the firm and Annabelle herself have received. Now, I hope that we will be able to discuss some aspects of Selldorf Architects’ body of work by talking first, as usual, about your most memorable decision to not engage or to drop a commission. So let’s start there.

Annabelle 03:32
I think this is very funny because I can’t remember ever dropping anyone. You know, you should be so lucky to have the opportunity to make choices. And I’ve always thought other people make choices. I don’t. Things come at me. And I have to deal. I realized that that’s not true because you, opportunities or, or lack thereof are, sort of, in a way in your own mind. I don’t remember ever not following up on a commission that would have been mine that I really wanted. I remember many, many competitions, where I thought this is the one, this is the one and you go all out and lose your shard in the process. Then, disappointingly, that [commission] goes to somebody else. And it’s devastating, because by the time that you have engaged with the idea of a project—I’m talking a full-on competition and RFP—you feel so, so close to the job that it, you can’t imagine that somebody wouldn’t think that you are the one to do this. There are others, of course, where you realize your fellow competitors were so different, their approach comes from such a different place. And when they win I kind of think, it’s like, well, why did they ask me in the first place if what I do isn’t what they asked? And, we decided to not participate in RFPs where afterwards I thought “damn, I should have, would have, could have.” Yes, of course. But especially at this point in my life, I know how taxing these kinds of participations are for everyone on the team. Because everybody works so incredibly hard. And there was a while when we never ever won any of them. And it was like, it got me to the point where I had thoughts like, I’m just not going to do it anymore. And then I realized that if you don’t participate, you’re not going to be asked. And very reluctantly, even though I think these RFPs get so much free work out of us architects, I think it’s also a bit of a luxury, because it’s that brief amount of time when you and your colleagues and your entire team think about a project from high up, and you get to, you get to dream, like, as a person. I am not somebody who, I don’t know, I’m going to design my favorite house, unless I know where it is, or why it should be there.

Ana 04:03
You like an invitation to dream.

Annabelle 07:09
I have to really immerse myself and I have to have a reason to do it.

Ana 07:14
Maybe let me, so we are interested, there’s the definitive “no,” and you say “no thank you” to a commission or a client, but there’s also a way in which you have certainly sort of driven your career in a particular direction based on circumstances, conversations, friendships. And I am hoping that we can discuss the mechanics of that collaboration with clients, and in some way your personal embeddedness in the art world, as well as the cultural life of New York, from which most of the early work, at least, seems to be to have emerged. And so I wanted to question that sort of, what kinds of questions we can pose to that embeddedness in relation to commissions. So to what extent is something like your ability to engage in appropriate types of conversations influential for the decision of taking or not taking a commission? But I’m also now—because you started by saying you can’t remember it now—so I want to explore that area where maybe it’s not a definitive no but it’s actually sort of the deliberation that is somewhat private about whether or not you engage in the conversation that’s not only a competition, but also conversation with a possible trajectory towards a project.

Annabelle 08:36
I think to begin with, because I started the office as a single practitioner, much of what I did was about paying the rent. Any job is a good job. So you start with the impetus that “here is work, I can make this interesting.” And then over time, of course, you know, not everything is for you. And certain things are toxic, and you should stay away from, and that’s what I call a developed instinct. So much of our work revolves around relationships, and perceived commitments and responsibilities. I think that I have a very good sense of humor. When it comes to architecture, I’m very serious. And so when we take on a job, we really take it on and we feel like it’s not only contractually that we’re not allowed to bow out, but we’re there to do it and the responsibilities that come with that are on a very wide spectrum. Nevertheless, you’re only as good as the relationship with your client is. Because if you can’t have full conversations, and if you can’t be respectful of one another, and the reasons why we do things, this is the second time in this conversation I said the reasons why, that figures in very, very big in our work, in the architecture itself, but also in why we’re doing things. And some projects, it’s easy, right? This was super interesting. They have no money, but they’re just fabulous people. And the mission is amazing, and the site is great, and we have something to contribute. Still, red flag if the organization isn’t set up and poised to be the counterweight in terms of being professional and being equipped to support us, the architects. Then you sort of flail your arms, and you stand by, and the reasons why very quickly go by the wayside. I actually think those are the most difficult ones, because they are not fueled in saying “I can’t stand this person,” or, “I don’t identify with their mission.” That’s all easy, right? It’s when you want to engage, and you realize you’ve got to be careful, because you get pulled into too deep, or you might find yourself not being able to get there. That’s when it’s tricky.

Ana 11:49
On your website, or your firm’s website, you differentiate between different commercial typologies of work, though there is no doubt art institution and gallery is by far the most consistent and present. But in a recent interview, you spoke about expertise. And I got intrigued by the way expertise intersects with this type of logical and even client type consistency, and even the kind of evermore global success of the firm. So there’s a kind of a, maybe it’s an intersection? Maybe it’s a Venn diagram of these few different questions? And so I wanted to maybe go towards and think about or talk to you about how you think about expertise. And you’ve also talked about working through and thinking with analog drawings. But I’m wondering, more broadly, what are the media or facets of architectural work that you would say you have shaped in the process of becoming more expert, as a firm and as a as an architect?

Annabelle 12:54
Hmm. What a great question. I would still say none. Expertise is an interesting thing, because apparently, many people feel that expertise is overrated. Now, if you go to a dentist, you want the best dentist. Who is the best dentist? It’s the expert one. And that is true of many other things. Expertise is not the same as creative talent, or poetic declaration or something. But I think that expertise is something that is in the realm of the rational in taking inventory of the large number of facets that present themselves in a given situation, say, in the art world. And it’s subjective, right? It eventually moves into saying, you develop a point of view from which you operate, which makes you, for better or for better, a good sparring partner. That’s what expertise is about. I’m not a curator. I’m not any number of things. But I’ve been in this world so much that I have expectations of what a museum, an art space, a library, or any number of other spaces of community can deliver. And I want to push that expertise to get out the most of it. And each time you want to be able to apply what you know and make it better. Because expertise, in a way, is a set of tools available to ask different questions. And I know that I can ask different questions today than I was able to ask 10 years ago.

Ana 15:14
Better ones?

Annabelle 15:15
I think so. I think so. I hope so. They are not only the result of, of working in this particular field, but sort of taking the big-picture thinking on board and sort of saying, like, wait a minute—I always made an assumption that a museum is a beautifully proportioned space with white walls, well lit, something or other—it’s so much more. And, in a way—it was a bit of a revelation to me outright—is that when we were selected to work on the Frick, I felt I knew the building, I understood the art, I knew all kinds of things that enabled me to engage. And I think it was the desire of engagement that translated, you know, the entire team being ready to go in a kind of hands on type of way. But it wasn’t until well into the project that I realized we’re doing something that is so much more important than getting the doors, doorways, right. That had, where I found the confidence to say, “no, what we’re doing is we’re taking this amazing museum and we’re making it more accessible to a bigger group, a more diverse group of people.” And that’s what we’ve been wanting all along, but to take license to say that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what you’re after. I don’t know, took a little confidence for me. It’s easier to say, well, I know exactly which stone to utilize here, and I apply like this, and I know how to hang this. That’s one kind of expertise. I think the other expertise, or the more interesting one is really to say, to push beyond that, and say how are we going to make things different? How are we going to change the paradigm? Does the paradigm need to be changed? Does that go without saying that we always have to push the envelope? I think, yes, we do.

Ana 15:36
Well, I like that you’re posing yourself questions and answering them along the way. Because we need some of those sub questions. So now a question that’s slightly different but related to the question about typological expertise that comes around all of this work on museums, both new and an old is my one about the materials processing plant. For me, I’m super intrigued by it, in part because it seems like an outlier in terms of the kind of commission. And yet, aesthetically, and in terms of the kind of architectural care it received, it seems completely consistent with the rest of your work. And so I’m interested in how it came about as a commission.

Annabelle 18:40
Well, I’m proud to say that we’re doing two other infrastructural projects, two stormwater facilities for the city of New York. And I’ve been asked this question before. If work on a museum is different than work on a recycling facility? It is and it isn’t. Because each case is specific and has its own set of set of conditions. And its own opportunities for success. But what they all have in common is that they are places for people and the recycling facility was interesting, because it seemed like you could have a concept and it would be like a little drawing sketch something lit from the top, but the scale of it was industrial. And I had never worked on a project like this. We had never worked on a project like that. Why was I interested in it? It was actually through some acquaintance that we were invited to a very limited competition between, I think three or four architects in New York, and it wasn’t the typology per se, but it was the feeling that you could make a difference. If you cared about the architectural qualities that a space like that has. And as always, when you embark on something that you’ve never done before, you are lucky enough not to know so much. But what we, what we learned is that it was a translation of scale into a sort of slightly different, yeah, into different volumes. And it seemed to us that, that if you approached it from the point of view of the person who works in the facility, we should really consider how that enormous scale translates to human scale, and how to make spaces inside and outside that anyone could relate to. And that would allow you to step back and sort of find yourself relative to your own size, and there are multiple streams of traffic across this thing. And so you had to think through what that meant. And it’s a little bit like, I guess, for me, personally, it’s about making sense of it, and putting myself in the place of the person who experiences it. The people. It’s, I think that’s part of our process, to rope in what that is in question. How you might feel, and that feeling it’s not, it’s not sentimental, but it’s physical.

Ana 22:15
I’ve read you describe your work on museums very similarly, or galleries very similarly, as working through multiple paths through a project of different agents, human and non-human, in the context of museums, art was part of it. But I can imagine how in the context of a recycling plant there are also all kinds of materials and processes that travel through it. And you said in that particular interview in which I read about this, that the more you understand what the prerequisites are for each and you want to understand the experience or what you want the experience to be, the more readily the form begins to appear out of that, which takes me to a couple of things; One is, you have often said that you’re not interested in style. And yet something like an aesthetic signature, I think undeniably emerges across the body of work; and you also said that you’re interested in architecture that does things; and thirdly, that function needs definition. So somewhere in the constellation of these terms and thoughts, I think there is a very particular kind of position on maybe how to think about what architectures are, what your priorities are when you sit down to deal with a project, or the firm’s priorities.

Annabelle 23:44
When I say I’m not interested in style, it includes knowing about architecture and knowing about the history of architecture, but not feeling that you’re boxed into a particular set of identifiers. In fact, as a young architect, I remember somebody once came to the office and said, your projects look all different, you don’t have a particular style. And at the time, that was probably more true than it is now— because I hadn’t really done anything. But I still sort of push that away, what something looks like, or what materials we use, until very, very late in the game, because those things are, I think, they are accessories in a way. Working on an elevation is compositional. Like every once in a while, I sort of drive around cities, and I think, wow, basically every building is essentially a grid of some kind, right? And if you try and defy symmetry, you still reference symmetry, so these are things we can’t escape. So they’re not what I’m interested in in the first place. But rather, I try to think about what the sort of very specific set of circumstances are that are hard core to how we utilize a building. And I think a little bit of it is a balance. Because there is such a thing as being overly specific, maybe I don’t know, in a performance space, you are saddled with a tiered space. That’ll be an auditorium, and it’ll be an auditorium, and it’ll be an auditorium. But most other spaces have sort of different opportunities. It’s not for nothing that industrial buildings are so versatile and are frequently used for art spaces or other spaces for that matter. It’s not for nothing, that Donald Judd went to Marfa and acquired all of these industrial spaces, because he could mess with them, he could mold them, they could become very specifically his and serve his purpose, because they were set up to be that. And there is a kind of simple rationality to that, that I think is fascinating. And I sometimes realize when say we work with a structural engineer, and the structural engineer is interested in the most interesting solution, I almost always feel like we’re a disappointment to them. Because I think, well, that’s not the most straightforward solution, as like, you could actually have used less material, less effort, less money to do something just as well. Not always. But…

Ana 27:06
When you say that architecture, that you’re interested in architecture that does things, what should we imagine there? What things do you prioritize doing right? It does many things. And I totally, I’m with you, but I think you’ve already begun to answer this in a number of different questions and answers that you’ve given. But when you say architecture does things, what do you picture? What should we picture when we hear you say that?

Annabelle 27:38
I think architecture engages the individual at its best. And that can be a big impression for many in this day and age. It is about that “whoa” effect. I am more interested in the interactive relationship between a user, a visitor, a person and the architecture, and how a volume can be evocative, and yet offer so much freedom for the individual, as a result of the rendition of light, or as a result of the proportions, or as a result of the sentiment of enclosure versus aperture. And I think the way we circulate vertically in a building is fascinating, because we can make it easy, or we can make it hard, we can make it enticing. You can propel people forward, or you can forego that opportunity. I think so much in it, especially in public buildings, is about inspiring curiosity, but also giving somebody the confidence to move forward. And this is increasingly interesting to me because I’ve had the privilege to grow up, go to museums, and never hesitate. Because my parents took us there. And we thought that was just what you did. We know that if you didn’t have that experience as a young person, it’s very unlikely that you ever feel compelled to go and seek. And so, do I know the exact ways in which architecture can do that? No, I don’t. But knowing that, I have to work hard at imagining how can I take somebody’s anxiety away from coming in here? And it’s got to go beyond the “wow” effect. Right? It’s got to go into something that is more, more subtle, more individual, and that reaches deeper so as to produce an experience that’s resonant for a long time.

Ana 30:13
That’s a great answer. Some of the recent work of the office has been engaging in adapting big museums that have been famously authored by other architects in their earlier or first incarnations. And I was wondering if you can talk to us about how you think about that work, or how you approach it or who you advocate for, in that situation, in that dialogue?

Annabelle 30:41
Yes, I advocate for the building. And I advocate for the longevity of a building and its ability to contribute and to be vibrant. And a little bit like the analogy of the traditional industrial structures that sort of evolve, to do something else, because the previous purpose isn’t available or valid anymore. I think almost all buildings, not all buildings, but any of them should get that chance. And it’s surprising, but it is true that in 30 years, our ways of thinking about culture, and community, and welcome, diversity and equity have changed very, very profoundly. And so when I say that I advocate for the building, that includes getting to know it, and finding sympathy with it, understanding something about it, in some ways, I think buildings are like people. So I think about what were the motives that it was, that it came about one way and how is it, How is that still valid or not valid? And how… I’m very well aware that you cannot change people. And in a sense, I think it’s a big responsibility for us as architects to sort of say, the building to has to remain who they are. But that does not mean that they can exercise and slim down or whatever the case may be. Now, I’m trying to be humorous about it. But.

Ana 32:36
The follow up question was how do time, history and historical moment figure in your thinking and you’ve, about these interventions. And I think you’ve, in a way said that already. I have a few more questions. And the next one is maybe private, we’ll see. But you’ve recently established or reestablished the furniture design arm or firm in which your parents’ furniture design is a subject of your tweaks and production. And this is something that you’re saying yes to? So I’m interested in it in that sense. And I’m personally curious about how you think about your links to Cologne, and the things that you would prefer to do now? Is there a kind of look back home that’s important in this moment?

Annabelle 33:35
The short answer is no. I’m much, much more aware of how more than 40 years in New York City make me more of a New Yorker than anything else. On the other hand, it’s really boring, but I still have an accent. And, you know, what are you going to do? So you then all of a sudden recognize that there are certain things that are a part of you, they’re, I guess your DNA by now. The furniture came about in a funny way. People think that we’ve only recently done this, but this furniture line has been around for a long time. It’s just that we put a little bit of a greater effort into marketing it because we really think that the quality is lovely. And it’s been an enormous amount of work to sort of establish thoughts about their universal use, their comfort, the quality of craft, and all of those good things. It’s a useful scale difference, because you look at smaller details and the topics are always the same. And, but in spending time on the furniture, I do recall, and I do connect to my parents, and their aesthetic, which is a very different thing, I think, from style. And I’m sort of, it’s a process of consciousness or achieving greater consciousness on some of these things. And it has, of course, made me think about growing up in the 60s, in Cologne. Cologne, a city in the middle of Germany on the Rhine River, originating during Roman, during the Roman era, has many beautiful things like a gothic cathedral and Romanesque churches, but was otherwise just about completely bombed to bits. I was born in 1960. And 1960 wasn’t that long after it was completely destroyed. So the experience of growing up in that era in postwar Germany in a dilapidated infrastructure is something that becomes very much part of how you think about things. And yeah, I’m perhaps more aware of that now, or I think about that more frequently than I used to. Especially because in architecture, and if we attempt to have a bigger perspective about what our responsibilities are to one another in all communities, and if we really mean it, if we really want to achieve greater equity, then we have to have a sense of where we are from and how we got to think about these things. And not, not just swim in a vocabulary of generalities that are positive and sound lovely to everyone.

Ana 37:18
Great. Did you ever regret taking a commission?

Annabelle 37:24

Ana 37:26
Tell us.

Annabelle 37:32
Especially when I was younger, my friends were making fun of me because I would have a new client, and I was like, in love. They were so great! They looked amazing. They had phenomenal taste; they were utterly committed. And then you find out that falling in love is a little bit of a tool to sort of get inspired. And that doesn’t work out every time. And yeah, I think over the years, I’ve had experiences with clients where I thought it’s like, I can’t believe I took this on. And where your sense of disappointment grows, grows so much so that you think I can’t take it anymore. And these are not just emotional things. More often than not, people are not fair or not right. And take advantage and or browbeat you. And so when you come to that moment where you think I really want to get out, you have to figure out ways to get out.

Ana 38:59
Here’s a slightly different question—but related. Do you have any procedures in place by which you expose the office to the realities of running the office? And do you invite everyone to think collectively about the commissions that you will and will not take?

Annabelle 39:19
So, a little bit more complex. More often than not, a potential project comes our way, and it’s a small group of partners, etc., [who] consider it. More often than not, it comes to me first. And I go, like, “yeah, we should definitely do that, whoa this is amazing.” Or let’s say that’s the scenario—I want to do it, I think this is great, we have the capacity, can’t pass this one up, etc., then we talk about it in the group of partners and if there is one who has any doubt, it’ll go through tremendous scrutiny, or rather likely we won’t take it. But they have to be real reasons. They’re not like, “I don’t want to do another one of these.” Because by and large, we are aligned about projects that we’re likely to be interested in. The larger group of the office, no, not so much, does not really get to participate in that process. Though, if we were about to take on something that is controversial, and that’s really what this is about, right? I would take that very seriously. And I think about that, I think about “is this controversial for anybody?”

Ana 40:53
I mean, the reason I start this question by asking “are there procedures by which the office is exposed to the realities of running an office” is because there are financial repercussions to thinking about these that are often not accessible to everyone in the office and I think are relevant.

Annabelle 41:15
That’s a different issue. And that is very much something that is, is part and parcel of what people with the teams are exposed to. We have a fairly structured office, and everybody is responsible to keep everybody in the loop. By and large, that works, could always work better, there are never enough hours in the day, and, you know, we try to have sort of more presentations of one team to the rest of the office, and so on and so forth. But the running of the office, the fees related to, to translating into, is the office profitable, and is it successful, we try to keep people very much in the loop. Because I don’t think work is a hobby, this is, architecture is my passion, but that’s private. We run a business, and we want people to know that their time matters. It’s not just a “will you bring in money with your time,” but does your time matter? You know, if you say, “give me a half an hour of your time,” let’s be focused, and let’s make that time worthwhile. And everybody gets to take part of that.

Ana 42:41
How would you describe the conditions in which Selldorf Architects does its best work? Are all commissions equally exciting? Or are there ideal commissions, and I mean, here, ideal in terms of the circumstances of the commission?

Annabelle 42:58
In the many years that the office has been around, there’s never once been a year where I have felt like, “oh, shit, we’re doing the same thing that we’ve always done.” And every project we take on, holds the promise to be different. And it’s very much the team that keeps that spirit and keeps the engagement, the enthusiasm, and the drive to make it come together. There was a competition that we participated in for a rehabilitation in a Greek island. And I thought, “wow, this is so amazing.” Yeah, it was like, antiquities surrounding you for the benefit of access to a greater amount of people, and we didn’t even make it to the shortlist. But that feels like an obvious one. But there are less obvious ones that make me feel like you can bring an existing building to life, to extend its life and extend not just its purpose, but sort of reach out and grab the community to have a new experience. That’s not necessarily glamorous. What I dream about is not necessarily related to place or typology. But it’s the reach that a piece of architecture can have, and I am sort of fascinated the older I get with making it less about the, what it looks like, but how intensely it can engage. And so, what it looks like is part of it, yes. What materials are a part of it. Yes, all of that is a part of it. But getting to the very, very essence and making it just as thin and, like, thin is not the right word. But, stripped away from everything unnecessary. That I’m most interested in.

Ana 45:28
And who would you like to do it with?

Annabelle 45:30
Let’s collaborate Ana!

Ana 45:34
This is where, I mean, the kind of ideal circumstances for a commission, is there a kind of agent on the other side that you can imagine,

Annabelle 45:45
Yes Absolutely. And it’s not one person or something. But it is somebody who is at the opposite end of the spectrum of the… so the dialogue becomes interesting. I’d love to build a house for a poet, but they would have to offer themselves to the process, or a scientist, like science seems so far from my head. But if I can, if they would allow me to enter, and that would be amazing. Because you’d learn something and you could give something back. And it’s the back and forth, that would make that brilliant. I love working with artists because they think so differently from the way I do.

Ana 45:46
Tell me about it. Great. I think I can end here. But if you have something else to add, this is a good moment to put something on the record that I didn’t manage to ask you about.

Annabelle 46:50
I don’t think that there is anything on my mind that I have to add, but you probably get this, it’s a little bit like, there’s a small spigot here. You open it up, and it’s like “woooosh.”

Ana 47:04
Yes, that’s what we like! All right. So, Annabelle, thank you very much for talking to me today. And listeners, thank you for listening to this episode of I Would Prefer Not To.

Annabelle 47:17
Thank you.