Pureza joined the Fragmentos team in 2017 as an assistant, worked in the Commercial Development Department, and in 2023, took on the role of Financial Coordinator. Read the full biography here.
You've been with the Fragmentos team for 6 years. How has the studio's growth and changes over these years affected your work?
At the age of 41, I had to start from scratch, and I believe it was one of the most challenging moments in my life. It wasn't easy, but being at Fragmentos made all the difference. The studio was experiencing rapid growth. Everything was happening simultaneously—many proposals (new and ongoing), internationalization, preparations for celebrating the 25th anniversary, and with all of this, there wasn't much time left for organizing in a more consistent and disciplined manner. On one hand, I was extremely busy, but on the other hand, it was during this intense period that I realized there was a path for me at the studio, related to organization, planning, and management.
I had no idea, and I think most people don't, about what an architect's work entails. We all know that an architect designs spaces and buildings, but this involves numerous other functions and responsibilities. In addition to planning and coordinating all design work, there is a strong management component: managing teams, schedules, standards, and also all the advisory work and client dedication. It's a whirlwind! In the midst of this chaos, I realized that my experience from other companies and countries could somehow contribute to improving the quality of work at the studio. It was based on this goal of improving our productivity that I sought to find tools and approaches that, I believe, have a direct impact on the studio. I know I only did this because I landed in a place with a strong desire to grow and evolve, a place that also invests in the growth and development of its employees. The partners have a tremendous capacity for listening, which gives us great freedom to grow within and with Fragmentos.
You have a background in Hotel Management, and your career has taken you to places like Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Funchal, and Paraty. How have these experiences influenced your work at the studio?
Paris brought me pragmatism, focus, and organization. It didn't give me warmth but provided me with a lot of determination to get things done. This more pragmatic side led me to research methods and processes that would make life at the studio easier, such as the implementation of a management software that is now an essential tool for managing and planning all departments.
From Brazil, contrary to what people might expect, I won't say I got "jogo de cintura". Not that I don't have it, in fact, I have quite a bit of it(laughs), but I think this characteristic is very Portuguese, and we tend to forget that. What I gained from Brazil is much more. Besides the cliché of the joy of living, I developed the ability to face daily life with lightness, learned to put things into perspective, and always see the glass as half full. Working toward solutions rather than dwelling on problems and mistakes. Brazilians have an incredible ability to "get back up." Today, the buzzword is resilience, but I prefer the word persistence, from the Latin "Persistere," where "Per" means "completely," and "Sistere" means "to stand firm." Clearly, this was learnt in Brazil.
From Madeira, I would say that the greatest contribution to the studio was all the trips I helped organize for the Fragmentos team and its friends and families (laughs). I dream of organizing a studio trip to Madeira with a focus on architecture.
And from hotel management, what do you bring from that field to architecture?
One of the major challenges in hospitality is coordinating between various departments. For a stay to meet guests' expectations, no department can fail. And in an architectural studio, it's not much different. Everything must be in sync for clients to be satisfied with the final product. Just like in hospitality, it's not just about the product but the entire experience, coupled with a set of experiences, sensations, and even emotions. To make this work and exceed client expectations, we need a back office (borrowing the term from hospitality) that's operating at 100%, and it's for this 100% that I hope to be contributing.
I've spoken about what my previous experiences brought to Fragmentos, but the studio has also added a lot to me. You learn a great deal working with architects. They are well-rounded individuals, interact with various types of people, master many areas of knowledge, and have a fabulous characteristic: they are extremely curious people, with a thirst for knowledge that inspires me every day.
How does the establishment of a Financial Department impact the studio's growth?
Despite working with art, we have to look at a studio as a business—it remains one. Without effective financial management, it's difficult to achieve our growth objectives. The growth strategy for the studio has to go hand in hand with financial management. A well-established financial department allows us to make informed decisions, anticipate shortcomings, and perform better performance analysis. It's somewhat like setting limits for our children's education. Knowing that there are limits allows children to feel free within those limits and secure enough to explore and grow. Here, the parallel is exactly between boundaries and consolidation.