Patrik Schumacher is known for writing books with titles like The Autopoiesis of Architecture: A New Framework for Architecture. But the prolific theorist is also highly practical—as evidenced by his involvement in every one of the 80 projects now in development at Zaha Hadid Architects, where Schumacher has worked since the 1980s and is the sole principal other than Hadid herself. The growth of the firm, which has 450 employees, is astonishing, given that Hadid had completed just one building before 2002. Last week, the German-born Schumacher was in Seoul for the opening of the 900,000-square-foot Dongdaemun Design Park, a curvy cultural center that he describes as a "beautiful strange alien transformative experience." From there, he flew to Hong Kong to help inaugurate the 300-foot-tall "innovation tower" at the Design School of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He spoke by phone from Hong Kong on everything from his high-profile partner to the state of contemporary architecture, about which he has been posting furiously on Facebook.
What is it like to inaugurate one of your buildings?