COMPETITIONS: When did you decide you wanted to become an architect?
Craig Dykers: I started off wanting to work with fashion—women’s fashion and clothing seemed very interesting to me. I quickly learned that the world of fashion wasn’t what I had anticipated. It came to feel very superficial and calculating. I left that and was somehow accepted into medical school, perhaps because of an interest I had in the human body. My grades were not very high; but my notebooks were apparently impressive. In medical school your notebooks are reviewed as well as taking tests My ability to draw anatomical forms was very good and one of the professors recommended that instead of studying medicine I should enroll in the art school and become an anatomical illustrator.
I was confused with what to do with this conundrum. He advised me further, ‘You like science and art; architecture seems like a good thing.’ I admitted that I had no idea what that was all about. He said something like, “Architects make churches and things like that. I felt I could work with this, making places for people. The architecture school accepted me and I rolled right into it, staying up many nights to work on my studio assignments. The end result of that long story is that there is an interest in the human form and the notion of the human body as it relates to the things we create. I think that is still with me.
COMPETITIONS: Was Charles Moore already in Austin when you were a student there?
CD: He arrived as I was leaving and there was only one semester overlap. I remember asking him why the nice parts of cities often appear to be on the west or north sides. Not entirely true, but it’s pretty frequent.
Calgary Public Library Competition 2014 (Development Version of winner ©Snøhetta)
COMPETITIONS: Snøhetta’s origin began with the Alexandria competition. How did that come about?
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