Can you start by telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you? Which is your most noticeable feature?
I have already reached retirement age. I lived more than half of my life in a totalitarian system, therefore I am really grateful to have the opportunity to work as an independent architect.
How come you became an architect? What is the best thing about being an architect?
I wanted to be an artist. However, due to certain political reasons, it was almost impossible to meet the Art Academy entry requirements, and without obtaining the Art Academy degree, one was not able to work as an »independent artist« in socialist times. After having experienced numerous difficulties, I was eventually accepted to study architecture at the College of Technology. Our wonderful profession has numerous advantages. We are looking for harmony and beauty, continually getting some new tasks, meeting various interesting people … However, we shall not forget Zaha Hadid’s thought: »If you want an easy life, don’t be an architect.«
Where is your life headed? To what do you aspire?
At the moment I only strive to get interesting work tasks, nice relationships, painting … I try to set myself reachable goals.
Are there artists that you look up to, that are influencing you? Who?
There are some artists I really admire. However, I have lately been thinking about numerous educated artists, their achievements, subsidy policies, frequent content-emptiness of their work. Out of hundred artists, there are 33% redundant, 33% are average, and only 33% of artists bring some additional value (like in any other profession). I have lately been trying to provide my assistance in the preparation of a monograph about a Czech painter Bohumíra Matala (1922–1988), the youngest member of a Group 42, who was invited by Georges Braque to visit his atelier after the exhibition of Czech artists in Paris.
What is the last book you have read? Which books would you reccomend?
The last book I read was Václav Havel written by Michal Žantovsky. I must also say that Murphy’s Law by Arthur Bloch is becoming more and more topical in our post-factum era.
Something on your bucket list:
I would like to paint a few more pictures that I will be satisfied with, maybe take part in a similar architectural project as Arheopark Pavlov was, and I would like to have good relations with my closest ones.
What is the dumbest thing you have ever believed?
»A promise is a comfort for a fool«, my grandmother would often say. Occasionally it »worked«.
Would you rather improvise, or rather prepare yourself well?
I like working under time pressure. However, a good preparation and time for »development« are absolutely essential.
Who do you first show your ideas to? Who is your best critic, the person you trust, value their opinion the most?
When I consider a certain client’s order or work duty important, I discuss it with my wife, who is also an architect, and with my younger colleagues. Otherwise I take decisions myself.
Some things set us off. They are usually not even important. What are those things for you?
When people are aging, they are also becoming more and more peaceful and calm. However, I am still able to make a »scene«.
If you could get rid of one weekness of yours, what would it be?
People have various types of weaknesses. Nevertheless, from professional point of view I am still not an optimal manager.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
Being an architect, I am fascinated by a »struggle« that millions of people living in agglomerates such as Ciudad de Mexico, Caracas or Kairo are faced with.
Is there anything you wish would never change?
Yes, but I do not want to tell you what it is.
Interviewer: Danaja Jovandič