Speed Date / JÁN STUDENÝ, architect, ksa_studeny
Where are you from?
I am from Bratislava, the third generation, but I have mixed ancestors – Slovaks, Czechs, Russians…
Where did you study?
First, at the Faculty of Architecture of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, then at the Czech Technical University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Who was your best teacher?
I guess Emil Přikryl and then who knows, maybe a math teacher from the elementary school, I think her name was Kleinová. She drew me to geometry and exact things.
Who were/ are your parents?
My mum is a doctor, my father is a painter.
What don’t you enjoy in design?
I don’t like when it’s forced and overdone (although I understand that it has to exist), I don’t like when it’s not exact and when it should fulfil justt what’s explicitly stated in the order.
And on the contrary, what do you?
I’m interested in natural processes when architecture is necessary. I also enjoy coming up with yet untested solutions, implementing them later.
What do you listen to?
Nothing really, I am more into visual stuff. Silence is fine, too. Sometimes classical music, some art…
Your favourite film or cartoon?
I’m mad about one film: Master and Commander. My family makes fun of me that it’s romantic, but so what. Apart from that Blade Runner and from the newest TV shows I managed to watch through the whole Ozark.
Who do you respect as an authority in and out of your field?
Hm, … maybe Alberti? But he is too much even for me. First because it’s only in Italian and then because it’s about the fundaments of fundaments.
What thing did you last buy?
I guess flowers for my wife? But that’s more of a coincidence.
Do you buy professional literature? What was the latest book?
I neglect it. Buckminster Fuller: Architecture in the Age of Radio.
Do you vote?
I do, lately with my son who is a wonderful advisor. I practically leave him to decide.
Who throws best parties?
I don’t like mass public parties and there are fewer and fewer private ones. So those private ones, but I won’t give away any names.
Your favourite dome?
The Italian ones – Brunelleschi in Florence and Pantheon.
Party dress. Made by…?
I always wear H&M T-shirts.
One of the nicest houses is the Lev Nikel’s cottage. It’s a circular house nested on legs in the middle of a forest. He made it himself using iron rods. Today it’s a ruin. And maybe I’d choose one of the houses by John Lautner.
Do you have any stereotypes when you work? How do they show?
I like mornings. I guess it comes from the times when we used to work mostly at night – coffee, alone in my studio.
What’s on your desktop?
I’ll have a look. Some harmless references meaning rubbish.
What do you respect both from the local and foreign design scene? And why?
Morality or money?
If there is money, we can talk about morality. Maybe it also goes without money, but it has no impact.
Everything by Churchill.
Optimist, pessimist, nihilist?
I am an optimist – out of necessity.
Do you have any hobby?
Not really. Wait, running?
Solo or in a collective?
I am a staunch individualist.
Slovakia as the Promised Land?
For me yes…