Are you a Money Heist (La Casa De Papel) fan? Becoming one of the most-watched web series, the Spanish show is not unknown to anyone today. It might have caught everyone’s attention with its nail-biting suspense and mystery, mind-blowing masterplans, killer cast with realistic acting, and the cryptic endings of every season. With over four seasons released, the narrator has never once changed. 

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Money Heist Poster with Tokyo_©Money Heist Wiki

The Professor might be one of the most important characters of the show; however, it is Tokyo who introduces us to this new world of the story. It is her narration, through which we can live the drama and get to know all the characters that we have come to love. Tokyo, otherwise known as Silene Oliveira, might be a mere fictional character on our screens, but it would be fascinating to imagine her as an architect. How would she design? How would her personality influence her design thinking? And would her design process and concepts resemble some architect we already know?

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Tokyo’s Character_©Netflix

Tokyo, as a Character

Before imagining the structures and design concepts Tokyo could have designed as an architect, understanding her personality, thinking, and character in the story becomes of utmost importance. With every design, an architect portrays his personality with the understanding of architecture on a three-dimensional canvas. Tokyo is an enthralling character who became popular among the viewers for her impulsive nature and reckless actions. All her acts show how courageous and spontaneous she can be, but sometimes it is the same actions that seem immature and prudent. 

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Even with a few precarious decisions, her confidence, individuality, and outward personality are evident as her character develops. As the seasons progressed, her interactions with the other characters engaged in the heist revealed her ability to be empathetic and her loving and caring attitude towards the people she cared about.

Tokyo’s individuality and understanding can influence her designs to a large extent. For an architect, while designing, it becomes crucial to meet the requirements of the client along with realizing the needs of the future users of the space. Her risk-taking nature can drive her to think beyond the existing designs and strive for something new using her empathetic nature.

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Quoted Tokyo_©ScrollDroll

Tokyo, as a Designer

With an ambition to explore further than the existing, it is unlikely that Tokyo’s design thinking would involve vernacular or historic designs. She would be an architect who understands the concepts already used at a deeper level and re-vision them with modern technology. Her design thinking could be widely based on abstract forms while realizing the needs of the clients, users, site, and context. Her nature was portrayed on screen as being very volatile and full of surprises; it is this character that would influence her throughout her design process, from concept to realization of form, to make changes again and again. 

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From the littlest change possible to a complete transformation, it is possible with Tokyo as an architect. With repeated changes on the initial concept, the design would be moving towards an abstract realm, where the architecture meets art in its truest form.

As an architect, Tokyo would never allow structural limitations or financial budgets (After all, she took part in a heist, right?) to bound her imagination and creativity. She would be focusing on the overall form and experience of the space. With her abstract designs, she would use the building as her three-dimensional canvas to tell her own story with a touch of her creativity; minimalist and modern styles of architecture are something she would not even pursue in the slightest. However, these are all the best possible guesses based on what we know about Tokyo as a character and what we’ve seen. 

She, as a character, is known to surprise the viewers in the most stressful, sudden, and unexpected ways. Who is to say that she won’t surprise the world, once again, with her new designs? Maybe, along the way, changing the whole architecture world of today while questioning what we believe today? 

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Zaha Hadid’s Al Wakrah Stadium_©ArchDaily
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Zaha Hadid’s Tallin’s New Terminal _©World Architecture
Frank Gehry’s Hotel Marques de Riscal _©Thomas Mayer

Tokyo, as an Architect

Thinking about Tokyo as an architect, she might resemble some already existing architects and designers of the current world. While speculating on what she could have built and accomplished, some may have conjured up images in their minds that resemble real-life architects such as Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, or even Frank Gehry. These architects might be belonging to different eras, countries and might even have slightly different design thinking but, it is their modern, structurally challenging, and revolutionary designs that tie them with Tokyo imagined as an architect. 

Her designs and structures would not only resemble theirs, but she might have been an architecture student highly inspired by them. She might have spent her early years as an architect studying their design, reinterpreting them, and understanding their thinking, not to follow them, but to strive to achieve something even more ambitious.

In this attempt to reimagine one of our most favourite characters, Tokyo as an architect, speculations were made based on my perception. The show might have been the same, the characters displayed on our screens might have been the same, but in the world of storytelling, just like architecture, no two individuals’ perceptions could have been the same. So, how about using your own perceived image of Tokyo to reimagine her as an architect?

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References

    1. Tyagi, K (2020). Which Money Heist character are you based on your personality? [online]. Available at: https://www.zoomtventertainment.com/celebrity/article/which-money-heist-character-are-you-based-on-your-personality/603189 [Accessed 20 July 2021].
    2. Williams, S (2020). Money Heist Character Guide: Every Robber’s Real Name & Backstory. [online]. Available at: https://screenrant.com/money-heist-characters-robbers-real-names-backstory/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
  • Lau, J (2016). ZAHA HADID AND THE PERCEPTION OF DESIGN THINKING. [online]. Available at: https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/id2laujw/2016/04/01/zaha-hadid-and-the-perception-of-design-thinking/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
  • Archisoup, (2021). 21 Architectural Concept Ideas. [online]. Available at: https://archisoup.com/architectural-concept-ideas [Accessed 20 July 2021].
  • Charles, D (2018). People Are Raving About ‘Money Heist’ On Netflix, Comparing It To ‘Prison Break’ And ‘Narcos’. [online]. Available at: https://brobible.com/culture/article/moneyheist-la-casa-de-papel-netflix/ [Accessed 20 July 2021].
Author

Trying to explore architecture and design with words and a fresh perspective, Rashi is still a student in her Undergrad. Her curiosity drives her to learn new things in life while her passion for writing makes her capture her experiences in her play of words.

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