A native of Austin, Matt Fajkus holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he completed his thesis work with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo. Before going independent in 2010 and establishing MF Architecture, Fajkus achieved significant experience in architectural practice. While working for the world-renowned firm Foster + Partners in London for several years, he worked on the design of numerous high-profile, international large-scale projects. Starting at firms in 1998, he also worked on numerous small-scale award-winning projects while with Max Levy Architects in Dallas, Brinkley Sargent Architects, and Julie Snow Architects in Minneapolis. In 2012, Fajkus was awarded two AIA National Emerging Professional Awards.
In addition to leading MF Architecture, Fajkus is a Tenured Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where he teaches courses in design, technology, daylighting and integrated sustainability. He was awarded the 2022-2023 Faculty Award for Outstanding Studio Teaching in addition to being recognized with the University of Texas System Regents' 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award - the highest teaching honor awarded by the entire school system. Additionally in 2013, Fajkus was presented with the Faculty Scholarship Award for Innovative Practice, and the ACSA/AIAS National New Faculty Teaching Award. He has co-authored a book titled Architectural Science and the Sun [More info here], published by Routledge Publishers.
Fajkus is a LEED Accredited Professional, a licensed architect, and a registered interior designer in the State of Texas. Fajkus was named the winner of the Engineering, Architecture and Design category at the 17th Austin Under 40 Award in 2015, and the winner of AIA Austin's Emerging Professional Achievement Honor Award in 2017.
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Heather McKinney01:44:18Transitioning from Principal to Founder, Heather McKinney reflects on her journey at McKinney York Architecture. Embracing the role of founder celebrates freedom and fulfilment, focusing on passion-driven architecture. Heather highlights the transformative impact of architectural work on communities and the responsibility architects hold in shaping landscapes. Architects like Donald Mays and Hank Schubart leave lasting legacies, shaping neighbourhoods and towns. The discussion delves into the significance of good orientation and thoughtful design, balancing traditional hand-drawing with digital tools. Cultural impact and workplace dynamics are explored, emphasizing the importance of understanding clients' personalities and preferences in design. Heather's firm focuses on community architecture, collaborating on projects for underserved communities and discovering universal design principles. Her favourite space, her closet, serves as a personal sanctuary, evoking a feeling of safety and retreat within her home.
Marlon & Meryati Blackwell01:32:04Explore Marlon Blackwell's architectural journey, from childhood explorations near the Everglades to a career of merging art and design. His interdisciplinary approach, shaped by nature and storytelling, enriches innovative designs resonating on multiple levels. Marlon's wife Meryati Johari Blackwell and cameo appearance of Michael Malone all discuss the insights into urban versus natural settings and collaborative problem-solving in projects like the Lamplighter. Dive into the significance of liminal spaces and ecological design, fostering seamless educational environments. Delve into the collaborative design process and the profound impact of light on space. Lastly, ponder their hypothetical final projects, one envisioning a house as a culmination of architectural essence, the other contemplating a studio at nature's edge, embracing creativity beyond formal practice.Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, is a prominent architect based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and holds the E. Fay Jones Distinguished Professorship at the University of Arkansas. He oversees all aspects of design, from inception to completion, at Marlon Blackwell Architects, fostering close client relationships and ensuring project success. His firm has earned numerous accolades, including the 2016 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and top rankings in the Architect 50 survey. Marlon's contributions to architecture have been celebrated with prestigious honours such as the 2020 AIA Gold Medal. He is also recognized for his excellence in education, having been named the 2020 SEC Professor of The Year and honoured as one of Design Intelligence magazine's "30 Most Admired Educators" in 2015. Throughout his career, Marlon has held various esteemed academic positions and collaborated with renowned architects like Peter Eisenman and Julie Snow.Meryati Blackwell, AIA, ASID, LEED AP, is a Principal and Director of Interiors at Marlon Blackwell Architects. Meryati has been a guiding force in the growth of MBA, helping to transform the firm from a sole proprietorship to the thriving international practice it is today. She continues to work closely with Marlon and project teams to deliver thoughtful and award-winning designs that are both sensual and sensible.
Mark Wellen01:14:05Mark Wellen, FAIA is co-founder and principal of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland, Texas. Drawing inspiration from the vast, inimitable landscape and the traditions of Texas’ modernist regionalist architects of previous generations, he has become a champion of the highest standards of the built environment, through both design and leadership. His work is both intuitive and instinctive, drawing on the unrelenting characteristics of the region – its big sky, long horizon, intense light, and climatic extremes to reveal moments of richness that elevate the human experience. Wellen’s body of work includes varied building types and project sizes from ranch shelters to residences, museums, and office towers. His work has received numerous national, regional, and local design awards, including AIA National, Residential Architect, The Dallas Architectural Forum, Texas Society of Architects and AIA West Texas.Join Mark and I on a journey of transcending transience in design. Explore the enduring elements that elevate spaces beyond mere materials and finishes. Discover moments of delight and clarity as we delve into the joy of thoughtful design experiences. Learn about the importance of client understanding and collaboration in achieving exceptional results. Reflect on the personal journey in design, from exploration to refined intuition. Experience the seamless integration of site and context, where landscapes and structures harmonize effortlessly. Embrace the fusion of functionality and inspiration, where practicality meets creativity to captivate the senses. Dive into collaborative visions with artists, crafting spaces that elevate and showcase their work, enhancing the overall experience.
DC Hillier Part 201:00:53Join us as we continue on our Design conversation with DC Hillier. D.C. Hillier, renowned mid-century modern design expert, author, and Instagram influencer with 230,000 followers. DC began studying this period of design and upon graduating from art school with a degree in film studies he was also now educated in the world of Mid Century Modern and International Modernist design. As well as working as an interior designer, DC has remained an ardent collector with a focus on specific styles and eras. With his knowledge and expertise of the period he has given talks on Modernism, consulted on several publications, and sits on the Collections Committee of the Design Exchange, Canada design museum. A sneak peak of the conversation explores passion driven careers; understanding the audience when it comes to engagement and reactions; DC’s Instagram content curation and his upcoming podcast plans.
DC Hillier Part 101:17:20D.C. Hillier, renowned mid-century modern design expert, author, and Instagram influencer with 230,000 followers, discusses the enduring appeal of mid-century design, challenges in trends and women's roles, and signature styles in architecture. DC began studying this period of design and upon graduating from art school with a degree in film studies he was also now educated in the world of Mid Century Modern and International Modernist design. As well as working as an interior designer, DC has remains an ardent collector with a focus on specific styles and eras. With his knowledge and expertise of the period he has given talks on Modernism, consulted on several publications, and sits on the Collections Committee of the Design Exchange, Canada design museum. The episode introduces DC Hillier, explores the evolution of Palm Springs architecture, highlighting the "Great Whiteout" trend, flipping practices, soulful restoration efforts, architects' passion, diverse neighbourhoods, and the lasting legacy of figures like William Krisel and Donald Wexler.The final segment focuses on William Krisel's personal connection to Palm Springs and architects' active presence in shaping the city's unique identity.
Chuck MacBride01:40:34Charles MacBride, AIA, NCARB, CPHC® is an educator and an architect. He teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington and maintains a small practice. He has been focused most recently on passive building, both in the classroom and in his own work. The conversation highlights the challenges and opportunities presented by Passive House principles in diverse climates, emphasizing the importance of energy efficiency in sustainable building design. Join us as we discuss the climate considerations, energy efficiency challenges in different climates, the role of passive houses in hot and humid climates, the focus on low energy demand and adaptations for different regions.
Paula Baker-Laporte01:07:50Paula Baker Laporte is an architect and building biologist, of the American Institute of Architects, and author of the fourth edition of "A Healthy House." Graduating in 1978, her architectural career shifted when she became chemically sensitive from poor indoor air quality. With over 25 years of practice, she emphasizes creating homes that nurture rather than harm, addressing issues like mold, chemicals, and electromagnetics. Paula explores traditional building methods, masonry heaters, and the importance of integrating nature into design. Her book, evolving over two decades, offers insights for homeowners and professionals in building healthier living spaces.Join Paula Baker - Laporte and Adrian Ramsay on Talkdesign to listen to this great episode on the importance of incorporating better health into living spaces. - Discusses issues related to mold in buildings, particularly in humid areas, highlighting the importance of proper construction methods. How to simplify and prioritize construction methods, emphasizing the use of fewer layers and materials to create healthier homes. And how a holistic approach to building design, would be incorporating factors such as insulation, radiant heat, and material choices to promote well-being and long-term sustainability.
World Of Design (Ep 1)28:17Welcome to "World of Design," where three design enthusiasts—Eric Dillman from the US, Rebecca Hay from Canada, and Adrian Ramsay from Australia—come together for an insightful conversation that transcends borders. In this inaugural episode, the trio discusses the challenges of designing in different climates, sharing anecdotes and valuable insights into adapting spaces to diverse environmental conditions. From managing extreme weather to understanding the emotional dynamics of design, each speaker brings a unique perspective to the table. Join us as we navigate the fascinating world of design collaboration, one podcast at a time. Tune in for a global exploration of creativity, innovation, and the art of shaping spaces. See you there! 🌐🎧
Bang + Rizi01:04:56F A R + D A N G is a multidisciplinary design office based in Dallas, Texas that is firmly engaged in the complexities and multiplicities of contemporary life. The firm’s research, strategy, and work focuses on transforming intangible ideas into spatial realities and physical form.Founding partners Bang Dang and Rizi Faruqui have both called Dallas, Texas home from an early age, and with diverse backgrounds bring a unique, Eastern/Western take on architecture. The natural inclination to be rational, subtle, and minimal is countered by the urge to be instinctive, brave, and free. The firm’s focus is on making architecture that is abstract in its homage to Texas regionalism and subtle in its inventiveness.Bang and Rizi both hold a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and Bang also holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington, where both Partners currently serve as Professors in Practice. The work of the 12-year old firm is varied in typology and scale but all the projects have a rigorous focus on making modern spaces informed by a study of the existing context, the rationale of structure, and the appropriateness of materiality.