You're an architect for 37 years. What changes in the industry have you noticed during this time?
Over that time there have been huge changes, as great as the progress in the development of our civilization and our consciousness.In the first place I would name a complete change of the architect's workshop and the working environment associated with the introduction of computers and specialized designing software. This applies both to the way of work - the development and presentation of the project and the opportunities associated with the implementation of the most fantastic ideas. Changes in the area of public awareness, are, in my opinion, the need for greater attention to the respect of environmental conditions. This issue is primarily related to energy conservation issues with particular emphasis on renewable energy.
Major changes also apply to the circumstances in which it comes to us today to operate an architecture activity. They are connected, first, with the creation of professional Chamber of Architects, second, to the education of a new type of investors, so the developers, and third, a very detailed legislation of the design process.
What factors influence the changes? Which, in your opinion, cause a positive effect, and which negative?
It seems to me that the primary factor of changes in the architecture is the progress of civilization. It means a technological and technical progress, environmental awareness, globalization, accelerating the pace of life and by far - emergence of the internet. These are factors that, in my opinion, have the greatest influence on changes in architecture. The economic factors associated with the value of the land and its acquisition for the construction of new facilities should also be stressed..
I think that a definitely positive effect have all the factors that stimulate the sustainable development, which should be related to man. If in the development process, there is no vision, that it should serve the human being and social groups as a basic reference points, it all begins to turn against us. This means that the development is taking the negative traits. I think that as an example we can give the city development plan, such as Krakow. The plan for the development of architecture is well-defined urban and architectural assumptions that determine what can be done in the passage of the city, and what cannot be done, and under what conditions. I think it is a mistake that there is no complete, coherent development plan of the city of Krakow. Sustainable development of the city, in addition to basic needs such as housing, work, arranging business, education, and health care and communication, should also take into account the recreation. Recreation area for Krakow was not properly organized and existing areas of often unique in the country and the continent values are not protected by law. Social goals or city interest, in the case of owners of specific areas are not taken into account. What matters is only temporary interest and maximum profit that the planned investment can bring.
Did the customers' expectations changed? In what way?
I think they did. To properly answer this question, type of clients should be specified. In my view, they can be divided into three very different groups with different expectations for architecture and architects. I would name them such as: institutional customers, or investors representing institutional customers, individual customers, pursuing their own needs, not only housing. Often these are the people who want to build for themselves objects such as a hotel or similar object. The third group are the developers. The rapid development of this group took place in the last 30 years. At the beginning of my career, there was no such customers. At the moment it is a basic type of customer, because they purchased all of the most valuable, in their opinion, urban areas.
Within the group of institutional customers, there is a relation, that the larger the company - retail chains, banks, insurance companies - the more precise are the expectations. Often this is related to the fact that it a logo is reserved and there are very specific rules for operation of the facility. When starting to design, architect receives specified requirements on a CD or in printed form, on how the investment should look like. It is a very rigorous program of investment. All conditions must be met.
Individual customers are often not prepared for the role of an investor and you have to help them. This means the joint creation of the program, compiling of data about investment, proposition of technical, technological and functional solutions. Very often it comes to the preparation of several concepts or pre-projects and a discussion about them. Among the individual customers, there is a group, much smaller one, which due to their knowledge and access to the Internet, come with a very specified expectations. They are able to describe in detail the expected requirements for the ordered object.
The hardest group are the developers. They present their needs of a different nature, in the sense that an object designed by the architect is not the target of the efforts for the developer. The ultimate goal is to profit from the sale or rental of "usable area".
What's your inspiration when creating projects?
The main inspirations are completed architectural projects, ideas, sketches, concepts. Other sources of inspiration are associated with traveling and visiting interesting cities and historical sites, as well as contemporary architecture, recognized as a world-class work. For me personally, the most important are all the things that speak through the eyes, the visual arts. Architecture, painting, sculpture, graphics, posters, movies. However, it is difficult for me to identify the specific inspiration from the fields of music, ballet, theater or another thing of this kind of art.