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Director of Institute of Architecture Bohdan Cherkes Told us about University Training and Job of Modern Architect

«Audience» continues the cycle of interviews with directors of educational and research institutions of Lviv Polytechnic. Today we shall talk with the director of the Institute of Architecture, head of Department of Design and Architecture Basics professor Bohdan Cherkes about university training and job of modern architects.

– It is hot time at Lviv Polytechnic now – handing diplomas. Institute of Architecture also had graduates...

– February 1, we presented diplomas to more than 250 graduates. Defence of the theses – masters’ and specialists’ – was held quite successful. Examination boards were managed by renowned specialists: Honored Architect of Ukraine, Chief Architect of reconstruction of Olympiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kyiv Yuriy Seryohin, Professors Mariya Kushnirenko from Kyiv and Zenoviya Tkanko from Lviv. Among interesting graduation projects were the following: improvement of households in the central part of Lviv, the problem of seal housing in Khrushchev era, reconstruction of Jesuit Church and Jesuit Collegium (where Bohdan Khmelnytskyy studied), restoration of the church in Hodovytsa which was designed by the creator of St. George’s Cathedral George Bernard Meretyn and interiors were ordered by sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel whose works are now exhibited in Louvre. Stands of some projects were exposed in the main building, the Vice-Prime Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko examined them during his recent visit to the city.

– What was special for the Institute of Architecture in 2012?

– First of all, almost all of our specialties were accredited and licensed. Traditionally, we participated in the review-contest of diploma projects of architectural and artistic specialties of higher educational institutions of Ukraine in Kharkiv. As always, we share the first and second places with Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture. In general, our students have been in many exhibitions, in summer group of our students worked in the Polish town Chelmno.

In addition, IARCH won the Tempus Tacis project together with the Milan Polytechnic University, University of Cambridge and the University of Zaragoza and Ukrainian partners from Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv. EU funds will be particularly aimed at creating computer classes, publishing six books.

It is important that lecturers of the institute started to publish in journals with impact factor. Last year, together with Associate Professor Svitlana Linda on demand of Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich we prepared and published a great article «Profession of architect in the space of Eastern Europe».

– It sounds very interesting. What is the article about?

– It is about how architecture was formed in Eastern Europe in the period from Christianization of Kievan Rus’ and to the twenty-first century. So we worked not only on the architecture of the city, Galicia, but Kyiv, Moscow, in general, Russia, Poland, the Balkans and elsewhere. This comparative approach provides significant, interesting, sometimes quite unexpected results.

– What makes a good architect in a global dynamic world?

– Architecture is a very broad speciality: we produce architects, designers and art restorers. A lot depends on what the person prepares himself and in what niche he gets. Work in the project organization is one thing: here a specialist must learn modern computer programs, know the regulatory framework and features of this type of activity in the European context. Our graduates work as real estate professionals, so they can assess the value, condition, specifications and the possibility of using the premises. Another niche is architectural management processes in cities and villages. Such professionals work in city and regional councils, management planning and architecture, are involved in regulatory and normative activities. But designers are now actively working on the design of web pages, developing corporate and individual styles, promotional items. A good example is the company of our graduates which for many years designs the packaging for the Swiss pharmaceutical company.

– Do graduates of IARCH work either in Ukraine or other countries?

– Preferably in Ukraine. In particular they work in Kiev environment. But recently I was delighted to get to know that our graduate – a landscape architect – is well-known in Kiev. I always say that two of four stadiums to «Euro-2012» were built by our graduates: in Kyiv – Yuriy Syeryohin, in Lviv – specialists of «Arnica» company. The fact that out of more than 20 architectural faculties that are in Ukraine, students of IARCH get large orders that for me is a very important indicator.

Our experts are also present in Russian, specifically – Moscow architectural space. A lot of them work in Europe (Poland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary) and even at distant markets – U.S., Canada, Israel, in North Africa. I know many freelancers who take orders over the Internet. Some graduates of IARCH who have got Bachelor’s degree continue studying at the Vienna University of Technology and then work in Western companies operating in the eastern market – in Russia (for example, Sochi), Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. In Azerbaijan our team joined, for example, to design halls for «Eurovision». Ukrainian are interesting for Western employers, because they know the language, the mentality of the post-Soviet space.

By the way, we are now in the process of signing an agreement on double diplomas with Cracow University: speaking about the Master’s degree, small groups of 12–15 people each year. Interestingly, diplomas of Cracow University of Technology are recognized in Britain, so the agreement would open new perspectives for Lviv Politehnic at the European market.