PechaKucha April 7, 2016


PechaKucha Night, an event held in 900 cities worldwide, returned to San Diego, California on April 7th, 2016. The event gathered designers, architects and artists at the Bread & Salt Workshop to share their life stories as well as their current and most prestigious projects. For the 23rd time, the San Diego Architectural Foundation put on the event, which unsurprisingly turned out to be yet another great success thanks to wonderful location, the Bread and Salt Workshop, and some truly outstanding speakers. The evening began with a cocktail hour at 7:30 pm, which allowed people to wander in, grab a drink and some food, and take in the studio space. Around 8:20, guests filed into the largest room of the building, vying for a good spot to watch the presentations. The event had a total of 7 speakers, who each had twenty slides, with twenty seconds per slide. What made the presentations breathtaking was the way the slides would not wait for anybody. Once the twenty seconds were up, the slides would move on regardless whether or not the speaker had finished commenting on it.

The presentations of Dominique Houriet, and Jeff Svitak are two good examples of the range of topics that the speakers presented. The focus in Dominique Houriet’s presentation was what he believes it takes to be an effective architect. According to Houriet, each project has three steps: the design, the permitting, and the construction. Houriet spoke of the importance of being on site, as an architect, during construction. Being on site includes the architect into the construction team and ensures greatly that his or her true goals for the building are reached. Another important point that Houriet made was that it is important to have something that you can do with your own hands. For him, this act is designing and building his own chairs. He says that it relaxes him, since there is no permitting or red tape, just him and the shop he is in.

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While Houriet talked of what he believes it takes to be an effective architect, Jeff Svitak spoke about his journey to becoming a successful architect. Svitak had his first architectural experience in San Diego during his collegiate years when he had an internship down on State Street. After graduating from his university, he moved back to San Diego, where he made construction drawings for a few years. He eventually broke onto the architectural scene when he began working under Sebastian Mariscal. Mariscal molded Svitak for 8 years, until Svitak decided that he was finally ready to open his own office. Since then he has designed and developed numerous buildings throughout San Diego. Currently Svitak is working on a new building in Little Italy, a project in North Park, as well as a custom home, also in North Park.



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