Speed Date / MICHAL KRIŠTOF, architect
Where are you from?
Kláštor pod Znievom.
Where did you study?
At the Faculty of Architecture in Brno and at Sint-Lucas in Ghent, Belgium.
Who was your best teacher?
Peter Klimek, my teacher of drawing in my home town Martin, Karel Doležel in the first grade at college, Wim Goes in Belgium and BIG studio which was more of a school than an office.
Who were/are your parents?
My mom is a hematology laboratory assistant, my father a printing technician.
What don’t you enjoy in design?
When things are an end in themselves, things for the sake of things, things done just for effect, superficiality.
And on the contrary, what do you?
Premeditation, spatiality, conceptuality, experiment, reality on the construction site.
What do you listen to?
Your favourite film or cartoon?
Who do you respect as an authority in and out of your field?
I don’t have a specific one, really. At the same time, I respect everyone who gives their job or field of interest all that it takes and moves it forward.
The last thing you bought?
An outdoor 2-in-1 anorak.
Do you buy professional literature? What was the latest book?
El Croquis and Volume most often. The latest book was a three-part biography of Luigi Snozzi.
Do you vote?
I try to. It would be great if it were finally possible for people living abroad to vote online.
Who throws best parties?
I have to admit that lately I don’t really go out. Apart from our studio Friday bars.
Your favourite dome?
Exhibition Hall Z at the Brno exhibition centre.
Party dress. Made by…?
Nothing mindboggling, just casual clothes. So mostly something black.
Your hero from the past?
Out of the last visited ones, it was Louisiana in Copenhagen as an example of integration of architecture, art and a setting. Siza’s Leca de Palmeira swimming pool in Porto, as yet another stunning example of the integration of nature and architecture. Guggenheim in NYC, an oasis among skyscrapers…
Do you have any stereotypes when you work? How do they show?
I’m analytical and systematical. I write and sketch. I try to organise and sort thoughts by speaking, repeating, writing. I scratch out, verify variants, chuck stuff out…
What’s on your desktop?
An organised mess, it’s nearly always full.
The last thing that really left a more remarkable impact on me was the exhibition of Brancusi in a small museum near Centre Pompidou.
What do you respect both from the local and foreign design scene? And why?
For a long time, it’s Rem Koolhaas/OMA, for their style of thinking about their work and architecture in general. From the local scene, I respect any of my fellow architects who succeeds in realising a high-quality project, or architecture in our context. And most of all, those projects that somehow improve our environment, public space.
Morals or money?
Morals = natural disposition, money ≠ natural disposition = means.
S, M, L, XL.
Optimist, pessimist, nihilist?
A realist gravitating towards optimism.
Do you have any hobby?
The most important things are my family, my wife and my daughter.
Solo or in a collective?
Overall, I think it’s definitely collectively, we’re around 40 architects in the studio, so it’s sometimes very hard to be alone, but it’s necessary from time to time.
Slovakia as the Promised Land?
I’ve lived abroad for the past 15 years, mostly in the Czech Republic and I think that we’re better here in “Czechoslovakia” that we think and are capable of admitting. I’m happy for the people that rather than whining, do something to improve the situation. The only thing that horrifies me is the growing extremism and the current state of politics.