Austrian-born, founding principal architect of Studio Schicketanz, Mary Ann Schicketanz has been a practicing architect for more than 30 years. Her portfolio features the Western United States as well as Europe, with a practice of sustainable building and design. Mary Ann is known for designing classic simplicity with natural elegance, efficient floor plans, and easy flow. A leader in the integration of green design principles with strong thematic design concepts, her work is widely shared and she also speaks on the subject.
Mary Ann is a past president of AIA Monterey Bay and serves on the Board of the Philip Glass Center. When she’s not at work designing beautiful structures, she enjoys reading, art, nature, travel, and music.
Today, Mary Ann joins us for Friday Five!
1. Most Inspiring Artist: Andy Goldsworthy
Goldsworthy’s transitory creations, and how they connect to the coming and going of life in general, have always deeply touched me. There is no purpose to these pieces other than the temporary beauty to enrich and inspire and to pay attention to the moment.
2. Most Inspiring City: Matera, Italy
Unlike some contenders for the longest continuously occupied city in the world, when you come to Matera it is not about visiting ruins. Here you can witness how primitive people found calcarenite rock caves next to a river and started living there as a community about 9000 years ago. They then expanded their caves to larger dwellings, stables, churches, and eventually built on top of that rock formation. It has seen the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Roman Empire come and go – each century leaving its mark, but never ruining its beauty or fully depleting its resources. Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast that they’re still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago – just think about that timespan!
3. Most Inspiring Poem: New Day’s Lyric by Amanda Gorman
It’s a most uplifting experience when Beauty, Intelligence, and Mindfulness come together. It is fascinating to me how a young person can come upon so much wisdom, it gives me hope for the future and the survival of beauty in this world.
4. Most Inspiring Composer: Philip Glass
Everyone has experiences that deeply carve into one’s soul and memory, not life changing, rather life enriching. For me, that was having the accidental privilege to see the premier of the opera Satyagraha in Stuttgart, Germany. I have since seen it in two different productions in New York and Los Angeles, and it holds the same magic. Philip Glass’s early music alters time and space for me, I can become one with it. That’s particularly true for Einstein in the Beach – a five hour opera. I don’t think I moved in those five hours and got up refreshed and could not believe that I had been sitting in an all immersive experience!
5. The Most Inspiring Part of My Work: Providing Shelter
Not just shelter from the elements and the noise of this world, but providing a home or workplace that gives people refuge, providing them with everything they need to recharge, heal, and expand their minds and souls, and to be ready again to face our challenging world. Environments like that have important physical attributes like non-toxic surfaces, good daylight, and well-filtered air. But beyond that, I want to offer up the healing quality of well-proportioned and well-colored, textured, and balanced spaces.