Anyone from the Vancouver office knows when they hear a distinct laugh throughout the office, that it belongs to Daniel Szymanski. Daniel explores solutions to design problems both within architecture and urban planning. From the natural landscape to science fiction, we sat down with Daniel to have a chat about influences in his work and beyond.
When did you realize you wanted to work in architecture? It’s always been something I’ve been drawn toward in one form or another. I recall going on vacation with my parents and occasionally visiting a building that just felt special. It was only later in life that I would come to understand the significance of that building. As I got older, I gained a greater appreciation for both the natural and urban environment.
How does living in Vancouver inspire you? I’ve lived in several places over the course of my life. Now being in Vancouver’s West End, I can safely say that I don’t think there’s a better place to live. It’s the combination of natural and urban, the mountains and ocean, the new and the old.
Coffee or tea? Coffee. Our bond has grown too strong to just throw away for some flavored water…though, I do like tea occasionally, but don’t tell coffee that.
If you could design for a fictional character, who would it be? It’s a toss-up. I’d choose between Naomi from The Expanse series or Ford Prefect from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Naomi is part of a new species of humans genetically designed to live in the harshness of a low-gravity, deep space environment. Ford Perfect is the ultimate minimalist. He travels light with just the clothes on his back and a towel.
Favorite tool of the trade? I guess it all usually starts with a stroke of the pen.
What was the last podcast you listened to? The “Chytrid: The Silent Forest” episode from This Podcast Will Kill You. It’s about a fungus wreaking havoc on amphibian populations, fascinating stuff.
Do you have any hobbies outside of the office? Most of my hobbies revolve around design and architecture. They include sketching, exploring the city, learning new programs, and most recently, furniture design.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Produce, produce, produce. I think it’s easy to get stuck with an idea, but it takes moving forward to test and understand it before it can gain any substance.