I’m a person of order and aesthetics, even if I’m not a creative artist, so I like to follow architecture, which marries both these things. As a journalist, I’m able to select the best and most interesting projects that architects and their clients have created around us and present them to the reader. I’m also pleased to have enriched the Czech architecture scene with a print title in INTRO.
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When I was still a child, we had a two-cassette tape deck at home. One cassette was labelled with a red letter A, the other with a green B. I used to point at them one after another and my parents would repeat, over and over, “A, B, A, B…” So my first words were “A” and “B”. I had scarcely learned to hold a pencil when I started to copy words and whole sentences from book, and when I knew the alphabet, I tried to write words as I heard them. The only catch was the there were no vowels on the paper - they seemed unnecessary somehow… As a school child, I enjoyed dictating to my classmates and trying to trip my parents up on some tricky spelling rule. I still enjoy this today - with the key difference that I no longer have a problem incorporating vowels into my writing.
In editing INTRO magazine, I’ve come to realise that working with text has a thing or two in common with architectural practice. Both require that certain rules to be followed in order to avoid structural collapse, yet they also open space for almost unlimited creativity.
The chance to work on a project that combines both of my professions - graphic design and architecture - was a challenge I enthusiastically accepted. In approaching the visual design of INTRO, I not only want to awaken the reader’s desire to read and re-read the magazine, but also to interpret the world of architecture engagingly and in a way that attracts not only professionals, but also the general public. In this way, INTRO plays a role in the necessary task of promoting quality architecture.
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Although I’m not an architect, I have found that architecture has a huge impact on each of us, both positive and negative. There are some places where we feel great and which we love to return to, and there are some that we would rather avoid. I hope that we can increase the number of good places and that INTRO can play a helpful role in that process.
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I enjoy giving things a shape that makes sense to me. There can never be enough good architecture magazines and I’m sorry to see that some Czech architecture magazines seem to be dying out, while those from some of our neighbouring countries have succeeded globally.
We are such a diverse group of people on the editorial board that I think we manage to cover most perspectives in our responses to things. We try to do things that will interest architects, but we also do what interests us. We don’t want to just reach architects, but also other professionals and the general public who love architecture. It’s about adding something we feel is missing to the mosaic of architecture magazines - a concentration on quality architecture presented at the graphic level.
Good architecture won’t emerge if it isn’t written and talked about. Even as a student, I understood the importance of exchange between laypeople and professionals. When I was a student, we didn’t live in the information age. The more challenging it was to get the information, the more a person knew how to distinguish its value and quality. In the second year of our architecture studies, my peers and I published our own architecture magazine. So far, I haven’t left this hobby behind; on the contrary, I’ve ended up working on book projects with my colleagues.
So, of course, I couldn’t resist joining the editorial board for INTRO magazine, even if I knew, from earlier experience on other editorial boards, how much thankless work is involved. But as I said in the beginning, we must write and publish, so that there will be something to write and publish about in the future.
I have always subscribed to magazines for regular access to some particular information or aspect that I haven’t found anywhere else. For example, Domus for its map attachment; Detail for details and great editorials; Stavba for the Rostislav Švacha series; Architect for “The Sphere”; ERA 21 for its theme… I purchased the first issue of INTRO for its interview with Zdeněk Fránek and also, I admit, for the cover graphics. The first issue impressed me so much that I accepted the offer to become a new editorial board member.
I studied architecture at five different schools in the Czech Republic and abroad, even though I decided to follow a path in service to my colleagues. I’ve been travelling around the world for two decades, sharing my own experiences and positive examples worthy of attention. In a world where quality architecture is one in a thousand, I prefer to focus on praise-worthy architecture. Now INTRO magazine has also embarked on an engaging quest for architectural jewels and I’m pleased to be part of the team.