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Jola Starzak and Dawid Strębicki on the profession of architecture, the search for sticking points and the euphoria of creation

12 of August '20

What does it mean to be an architect today? What are the conditions for practicing this profession? In our series "The Profession of Architect" we address these two questions to Polish architects, and illustrate their statements with unrealized office projects. In today's installment, Jola Starzak and Dawid Strębicki of Atelier Starzak Strebicki answered our questions.

Jola Starzak Dawid Strębicki

Jola Starzak and Dawid Strębicki

photo left photo: Moritz Bernoully, right photo: Mateusz Bieniaszczyk

1 What does it mean to be an architect today?
2. what are the conditions for practicing as an architect?

These are very difficult and general questions. Our answer is a subjective interpretation of our experiences, because everything depends on the context. As a student architect, being an architect meant that we were constantly looking for anchor points and answers and arguments for the design decisions we made based on various architectural theories. As we listened to inspiring lectures by architects and architectural theorists invited to our university, during which the projects and theory presented merged into one coherent story, we believed that being an architect always meant combining these two elements into one harmonious configuration.

As an architect-employee we experienced the euphoria of creation, because for the first time in our lives we were participants in the process of transforming abstract ideas into real forms. We never thought about how these fascinating design tasks ended up on our desks and what commitment it required from our bosses. We celebrated the "building" of architecture.

As architects running our own studio, we celebrate diversity understood as never repeating everyday life. We value the opportunity to work on design tasks with different themes - it gives us great pleasure. The most difficult thing for us in practicing the profession of an architect is the ability to find the right language - a dictionary of terms that will enable us to thoroughly understand the complexities of a project, the client's intentions and his habits and expectations. The key and at the same time difficult thing is the proper alignment and teaming of the client and the architect - together they initiate the dynamics of the entire further design and implementation process. Only when the architect manages to accurately read the commissioning party's ambitions and when the commissioning party consciously chooses the architect, a creative dialogue respecting the arguments of both parties is possible, leading to the realization of satisfying and useful projects. In the profession of an architect, what is important to us is not only the result, but also the process of creating the project, which is a joint work of the whole team, which consists of: the principal, contractors, experts in various fields (constructor, installer, etc.) and architects.


Atelier Starzak Strebicki

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