Speed Date / JAN ŠÉPKA, architect and teacher

Where are you from?
From Vinohrady.

Where did you study?
At the FA CTU and AVU.

Who was your best teacher?
Mikoláš Axmann, Miroslav Šik, Emil Přikryl.

Who were/ are your parents?
Dad a mathematician, mum a connection engineer.

What don’t you enjoy in design?
Lying and formality, plagiarism.

And on the contrary, what do you?

What do you listen to?
Almost everything, I like minimalism and experimental music the most.

Your favourite film, cartoon, series?
There are so many. Recently, films by Yorgos Lanthimos.

Who do you respect as an authority in and out of your field?
If anyone inspires me in the long run, it’s definitely the sloth, which lived about 40 million years ago and is still around today.

What thing did you last buy?
I only buy books, and I buy them all the time.

Do you buy professional literature? What was the latest book?
“Antonín Raymond in Japan” by Helena Čapková. Great interviews with Raymond’s former associates.

Do you vote?
Yes, but my hit rate is low.

Who throws the best parties?
I don’t go to parties.

Your favourite dome?
The Pantheon in Rome, Brunelleschi’s dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Nervi’s Little Palace of Sports in Rome, and I would love to see the Buddhist stupa in Sanchi.

Party dress. Made by…?
30 years ago, I got all black and I don’t have to think about clothes.

Your hero from the past?
The Little Prince and Winnie the Pooh, they are my heroes nowadays.

Best/nicest house?
There are an awful lot of them, I can think of at least a hundred or so buildings.

Do you have any stereotypes when you work? How do they show?
Every day I study something around architecture for half an hour and take notes. Then I draw from them in my work.

What’s on your desktop?
On my desktop I have a pencil, an A5 notebook, a book and water. For the last year there are also glasses.

Best exhibition, work of art?
I really like art that draws inspiration from children and has a bit of naivety in it: Paul Klee, Jean Dubuffet, the CoBrA group – especially Asger Jorn.

What do you respect both from the local and foreign design scene? And why?
I respect work that tries to step in a new direction, even at the cost of not being received positively. But in this respect I’m not interested in novelty, at any price.

Ethics or money?
Ethics without money.

Extraordinary book?
Bulgakov’s The Master and Margaret – especially the beginning. The Poetics of a Wall Projection, where Jan Turnovský reflects on the architectural detail of Wittgenstein’s Vienna house and is able to write a wonderful treatise on it.

Optimist, pessimist, nihilist?
Life optimist.

Do you have any hobby?

Solo or in a collective?
Individually collectively.

Slovakia as the Promised Land?
I can’t say.


16 / 9 / 2020
by MAG D A
Share on Facebook