WAS IT A CHILDHOOD DREAM OF YOURS TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT?
Matter of factly, it wasn`t always my dream to become an architect and a photographer but, like many 70`s and 80`s kids, I too wanted to become Mike. Mike Jordon to be exact. My dream was to become a pro basketball player, like my childhood idol, not an architect or photographer but later I ended up attending an Art University and ultimately studied architecture.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB? WHAT DO YOU DO ON THE DAILY - CAREER WISE?
I`m actually not doing much architectural wise. This is because the piece I am currently working on has been put on pause. The design portion is finished so, we are waiting for planning permission to start construction.
So, instead I`m engaging in my career as a photographer at the moment. Recently, I`ve been photographing houses and shop interiors, as well as editing the images I've taken. My career as a photographer “just happened” - A hobby turned business. It wasn`t part of my education but rather a hobby and passion. It wasn`t part of my 9 years studying architecture.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU - WORK WISE?
I will just use my previous week as an example so that you get an idea of what my average work week looks like.
Last week I visited a house renovation that just finished recently; which is a ground floor and an upstairs - a house for a family. Another project that I am working on is in Biel-Benken - like a 20 minute drive from here. That project is stand-alone house that needs to be renovated. We did the design portion and now we are waiting for planning permission to start construction. For photography last week, I photographed a house in Münchenstein for an architect, then a shop interior on the Spalenberg in the old town. So, right now I am editing photos and I will need to deliver the final images. On Monday I spoke to an architect who I am currently doing a photoshoot of an house he renovated in Riehen. I had already shot pictures of the interior when it was unfurnished and just finished with construction. Now we are planning to do an interior photoshoot with the furniture because the people have moved in and we also need to do the exterior. So, it was a planning conversation with the architect where we discussed the details like: how we should do it, when we should do it and so on. On Tuesday I was in Zürich for a magazine called "Hochparterre" an architectural magazine. They do special issues like two or three times a year called the "Themenheft". It depends on the issue, but usually it's like 20 to 40 page special that is added to the normal issue. The normal issue comes out monthly. In the "Themenheft" , they focus on one architectural project. They hire one photographer, who then helps to tie the whole "Themenheft" together. To do a sort of visual storytelling, that goes along with all the other articles and interviews.
HOW HAS COVID-19 IMPACTED YOUR WORK LIFE?
The impact hasn`t been as substantial as it was for other lines of work. I was supposed to have a photo-shoot in the States, so this could no longer happen because of travel. I think that right now in the architecture and photography field, I don’t think that the impact is now but more in the future because the projects that I`m photographing right now started 5, 4,3,2 years ago, so now they are finishing. It`s from now. Are people going to start projects? Are people going to ask to start projects? Things are uncertain maybe their financial situation has changed, so it`s very different from a restaurant, where you had to close NOW, like in March…or a hairdresser or whatever you know. You just had to close, it didn`t happen for me. I kept on photographing because I`m actually alone in buildings usually. Architects need photos. Before people move in for example, so you go, and you do it. So, I think end of this year, next year, 2021 people will start to feel it in this field. It was the same during these financial crisises and crashes that happened in the past. Architectures are always on a delay.
WHAT SKILL HAS SERVED YOU BEST IN YOUR CURRENT CAREER?
The traits that have served me best in my current career, are my genuine interest to learn more, my willingness for self-learning, as well as my curiosity and ability to ask the right questions.
WOULD YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE STYLE? IF SO, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?
No, I find it dangerous. I find it dangerous to adapt a signature style because then the danger of putting self-imposed rules arises. Then you tend to put self-imposed rules to force on a project; whereas if you don`t force something, you have more freedom and this is more liberating because then you really look at each project as a specific situation and that allows for new possibilities and specific outcomes. If you have a set thing in your mind; it can`t come out good because you are forcing it to happen.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE PROJECT DESIGN OF THE BRASWELL ARTS CENTER?
I think that openness and flexibility. It can accommodate. I mean the main thing is dance classes but then they can host concerts, they can have art exhibitions, and this was from the beginning, when I started speaking with them, this was very important. So, all the furniture is on wheels, the ceiling spotlights are adjustable, you can move them around and I think the only permanent element are the triangular acoustic foam panels on the ceiling. Ok, you can take them down. They aren’t permanent, permanent but no wheels on them.
I thanked Dais for meeting up with me but didn`t shake his hand to be Covid safe.
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