Speed Date / MARTIN JANČOK, architect

Photo: Ľubica Segečová.

Where are you from?

Where did you study?
At FA STU Bratislava, but the most crucial experience was my participation in City Visions Europe, which was a research-speculative project under the lead of Rotterdam Berlage Institute.

Who was your best teacher?
Viktor Židik at the elementary art school.

Who were/are your parents?
An English teacher and a machinery engineer.

What don’t you enjoy in design?
Reducing design to nothing else but technological and material solutions, superficiality, childishness, pathos, exclusiveness, forced originality…

And on the contrary, what do you?
Openness, universality, ambiguousness, surprise, building on someone else’s ideas, space, type, form…

What do you listen to?
Many different things, electronic music prevails, both contemporary and from forty years ago.

Favourite film or cartoon?
Everything by Carpenter, Futurama, The Wire.

Who do you respect as an authority in and out of your field?
I’ll mention two who are no longer alive. I find them the most significant personalities of Slovak architecture. It’s Friedrich Weinwurm, mainly for his projects of accessible housing (Unitas, Nová doba in Bratislava) and Štefan Svetko for his ambitious works of architectonic (the Slovak Radio) and urbanist projects for Bratislava.

The last thing you bought?
Sneakers. My old ones were impossible to wear.

Do you buy professional literature? What was the latest book?
I do, the last one was Sandra Bartoli, Jörg Stollmann: Tiergarten, Landscape of Transgression: This Obscure Object of Desire.

Do you vote?
I do.

Who throws best parties?
Lately I’ve showed up a couple of times in Fuga. They’re really good at it. But mostly I go to those where I play.

Your favourite dome?
The one that lets rain in. Pantheon. But Buckminster Fuller and his Dome over Manhattan is OK too.

Party dress. Made by…?
I always wear the same clothes.

Your hero from the past?
Al Leong.

Best/nicest house?
Out of those I had a chance to experience, it would be Ca’ Romanino (Giancarlo De Carlo).

Do you have any stereotypes when you work? How do they show?
Putting off decisions, endless remaking and reevaluating of a design, last-minute changes.

What’s on your desktop?
It’s grey, R:75 G:75 B:75.

Best exhibition/artwork?
Perhaps Chris Burden: Extreme Measures, New Museum, New York 2013.

What do you respect both from the local and foreign design scene? And why?
As for the local scene I’d say my colleagues from Totalstudio and zerozero, we have a long history of cooperation and many common attitudes. Architect Ján Studený and N/A studio, for their conceptual approach and a will to discuss architecture, Pavel Paňák for his deep interest and knowledge of architecture history. And as for the foreign stuff, Belgian KGDVS – for their consistency, 51N4E for their pure non-consistency. Lately it’s interesting to keep track of the new French wave of smaller studios (Bruther, Muoto) working almost solely for the public sphere.

Morals or money?
Morals. Until you don’t run out of money.

Extraordinary book?
Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers that I read all aloud to my girlfriend.

Optimist, pessimist, nihilist?

Do you have any hobby?
I’m a reserve DJ.

Solo, or in a collective?
Together, but separately.

Slovakia as the Promised Land?
So far.



4 / 9 / 2019
by MAG D A
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