Napkin Sketch: Marvin Malecha

June 29, 2021


One of my favorite parts of being involved with SDAF has been the opportunity to get to connect with some really wonderful people in our industry. I’ve built friendships throughout various creative disciplines and been able to connect with some amazingly talented folks that I otherwise may never have crossed paths with. Coordinating the Orchids & Onions jury for as many years as I have has given me a special opportunity to also put each one of these people to work on one of my favorite creative pastimes, the napkin sketch. Years back I decided that a mandatory part of participating in the O&O Jury Tour was to provide at least one napkin sketch regardless of whether you were part of the jury, or one of our volunteers. It was just a way to remind everyone of the fun of being creative, a simple drawing, something quick, not polished.

As the team prepares this year’s unique O&O program (oh, this is going to be a fun one!) I’ve been reflecting on past years experiences. While looking back through some of the napkin sketches done by jurors on our annual O&O Jury Tour I came across this gem by Marvin Malecha, FAIA who was, at the time, president of the NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NSAD).

Softly spoken but always with a sharp and detailed opinion, Marvin was an absolute delight to meet on our 2017 tour. He thoughtfully discussed each award based on our award criteria and its individual merits. He especially connected with our young student juror and he doodled this napkin sketch after visiting the Japanese Gardens at Balboa Park.

I was deeply saddened to hear of Mavin’s passing in 2020, but his legacy in our industry as well as his leadership at the NewSchool will live on for years to come. Our organization is better because of Marvin’s leadership in ensuring a deep partnership between SDAF and NSAD. It was an absolute pleasure to get to know Marvin through our partnership over the years.

To learn more about Marvin’s legacy, NewSchool issued this statement which includes more of his sketches.