For an architect, creativity is not limited to design, architecture or to an act of creation; it fits into each of the daily tasks of his work. For Judi Farkas, architect and partner, creativity is ubiquitous in her approach to teamwork. Involved at the outset to develop the overall vision of various projects, she knows how to draw from her past experiences and how to get the most of her collaborators in order to create captivating environments.
Judi possesses this gift of being able to motivate teams, and it shows. The strength resulting from the team effort helps the realization of the most beautiful concepts. “My passion for my job allows me, even after all these years, to enter the office with the same energy and trepidation as on day one. Although every day brings its share of challenges and accomplishments, there are also many sources of inspiration. My goal is to share this feeling with my colleagues.”
Collaboration is a way for her to constantly reinvent herself. Curious, she tries to find the creative potential or small element that will bring something original, more functional, effective or logical to a new project. This desire to learn and share is something that characterizes Judi’s approach.
Q&A with Judi Farkas
Q. What was your trigger for architecture?
JF. In high school, I had the chance to visit several major North American cities while on cultural trips. With my camera always under my arm, I took tons of photos to keep images of my passage in these cities. A few years later, looking at my photos, I noticed that the subjects were always buildings and urban installations rather than people or events. My gaze naturally fell on the shapes, on the frame. That discovery led me to explore my interest in architecture, an interest that resulted in my professional choice.
Q. What is your vision of good architecture?
JF. Good architecture is one in which a person feels comfortable right away. Space that, by its uniqueness and innovation offers an experience that influences its inhabitant’s daily life. It must also offer its users a dose of surprise, something that exceeds their expectations.
Q. What is your most notable project at LemayMichaud?
JF. This is a difficult question because all projects have memorable aspects. However, I think that the project “OSM: La Musique aux enfants” is the one that has marked me the most in recent years. From A to Z, the experience has been both rewarding and stimulating. On the one hand, for the importance of the program we helped implement. On the other hand, for the intensity of the collaborative process, which brought together professionals who offered their services to the benefits of children. In addition to the extraordinary collective experience, this project has allowed me to make a difference in the lives of many children.
Q. How do you manage to create stimulating work environments?
JF. When there is collaboration and it is inclusive of all actors of a project, the work is always more stimulating. I believe that when each individual understands that he has his place, that he will have the opportunity to participate and to prove himself, any task becomes more pleasant. Each person has its own colors and ideas, collective work makes it possible to bring everybody closer, for the benefit of the final result. And behind great collaborations are the ideas that enable projects to find their uniqueness and to be propelled forward.
Q. What do you think is the right way to approach the job with emerging architects?
JF. When I approach a new project, I always try to create a positive work environment, where creation is favoured, as well as respect between the various levels of experience. As a project manager, I have to be confident; young architects are talented and have a lot to offer. Moreover, if they are involved in a project where they feel invested and respected, they will want to offer the best of themselves.
Q. Which project, both local and international, would you have liked to have worked-on?
JF. It is not a project in particular but rather the work of a
specific architect: Tadao Andō fascinates me with his style’s continuous
simplicity and elegance. I would like to know his reasoning, to better
understand his choices, to learn how he approaches his projects and
their issues, but above all to know how he manages to convince customers
to dare and follow his lead.