Keeping the Flame Alive with Antoine Predock

Renowned Architect, Antoine Predock, shares a lifetime of experiences, advice, and more in this week’s Young Architect Podcast with your host, Michael Riscica. In this episode, Antoine shares what it takes to be an architect, why architects have such incredible inner strength, and how to stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your principles.  

His early work was influenced by his understanding of New Mexico and the High Desert including his projects there along with many others around the United States and internationally demonstrate in different ways his connection to “place”. He is known for designing a number of incredible buildings including La Luz Community and San Diego Padres Ballpark , and many museums and educational facilities – as well as international projects such as: The College of Journalism & Communication at Education City in Qatar, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

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Architect Antoine Predock  

Before he got into architecture, Antoine was studying engineering at UNM. He wasn’t moved by engineering and was determined to do something that would give him meaning in life. After taking an aptitude test that determined he was a good candidate to either be a teacher or an architect, he knew he had to go with the latter.  

He switched from engineering to the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and eventually transferred to the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to complete his studies.

If there’s something that Antoine loves besides architecture, it’s traveling all across the world on his motorcycle. He’s been all over the US and Europe including an extended stay in Spain with a Columbia University fellowship.

With a lifetime of experiences, he has advice on how to approach your career as an architect including the best way to practice architecture including the poetic foundations of architecture and why we architects aren’t afraid of anything and we have what it takes to get work done.  

Today, you can visit the Predock Center at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture & Planning that he has donated to the university along with the archive of his life’s work. 

What You’ll Hear on This Episode 

  • What he loved the most about living in New York City while studying at Columbia University.  
  • Discussion of his fellowship and travels in Spain.
  • His take on the best way to practice architecture and design.  
  • His various travels around the US and Europe and what historical events he witnessed and experienced.  
  • The jump he made to change the course of his career and build an entire community called La Luz in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  
  • Why a career in architecture is an adventure for everyone who decides to pursue it. 
  • His love of motorcycles and traveling all around the world with them.  
  • How his interest in motorcycles has impacted his architecture career.  
  • Why architects aren’t afraid of anything and we have what it takes to get work done.  
  • What makes him so passionate about architecture. 
  • Why New Mexico inspires him and his work so much.  
  • The benefits and downfalls of globalization in our modern world and how social media has its pros and cons.  
  • The importance of honoring the culture and site wherever you work, whether it’s on your home turf or a different country.  
  • The benefits of physical exercise to toughen you and prepare you for the “Architorture” that you have bought into.
  • The impact of dance on his life and his career in architecture.  
  • Historical figures and authors that he highly recommends you should know about.  
  • Why sustainability should automatically be part of architecture, but not be fetishized because it’s only a piece of the puzzle.   
  • How we can maintain our passion and not give up.


Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode 

  1. It’s very important to honor the culture and site of the city, state, province, or country where you will be designing a structure. As Antoine continues to do, you can engage with the power and beauty of whatever place you are working.
  2. Physical exercise whether it’s running, dancing, or hitting the gym is a great way to stimulate your mind, strengthen you and get the creative juices going.
  3. As an architect, as with any career path, you should be passionate about it. If you see it as a job that’s just going to pay the bills without really giving you any excitement or joy, then maybe you should get out.

Antoine Predock’s Advice for Aspiring Architects 

“Someday, you might have to do the grunt work for somebody in some firm. When you’re doing the grunt work, don’t let it get you down too much. Understand it for what it is; a necessary evil. At the same time you can keep your inner flame alive, and it’s your obligation to make that happen – no one is going to do it for you.  Draw with your hands and draw with your body. Always combine the physical with the digital realm.” 


Favorite Quotes  

“Architecture is an adventure. If you don’t see it that way, get out. It’s an adventure, a ride, and your life. It’s not a job; if it feels like a job, you have to keep the flame alive and there are all different kinds of ways to do that. It’s an adventure. Period.” – Antoine Predock on how to stay passionate about your work as an architect.  

“All the all-nighters you’ve pulled off and stress you’ve been subjected to is going to pay off. After all you’ve been through in architecture school, you’re not afraid of anything and you can go the distance. Which building on a campus has the most lights on during any night? Is it law or business school? Nope; it’s the architecture building. We are veterans of some difficult moments and we know what to do when it comes to working hard. In that way, we have a secret weapon that no one else has.” – Antoine Predock


Resources Mentioned in the Show  

 

 

About

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

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