Joakim Dahlqvist

17 December 2009

What a joy of a portfolio. Tempted in by his fantastic large scale borderline-autistic drawings, I was led to a cave of architecture, animation, illustration, programming, film and more. Joakim is a genuine creative with a mind full of ideas. So, I coaxed him out of his sick bed to have a little chat about his work and what he’s up to next, as I most certainly can’t guess.

Hey Joakim, I couldn’t help but want to have a chat when I saw your drawings… can you tell us a little about the guy behind them?

I never know how to answer this type of question. My bio is on the homepage of the website. Its pretty dry yet concise; I have really no idea who I am, right now I am having the flu. I studied architecture at the Design Research Lab at the AA in London and went on to work with AMO the research unit of Rem Koolhaas & OMA. Since then I have worked on wide range of projects in various fields.

Do you think it’s odd for someone who studied architecture to have such a desire to draw?

Not at all, I think the opposite would be odd. Is architecture even possible without drawing? Even in todays highly digitized practices drawing remains a primary tool. Of course my work with these particular drawings differ substantially from the quick communicative sketches or technical drawings produced in professional architectural practice. Nonetheless, it is architectural work in many ways.

Do you know the work of Martin Handford and his Where’s Wally comics?

Sure I know Wally! There is no Wally in my work though, I prefer many small protagonists in situations doing their thing.

Yes, you wouldn’t be able to see his red hat in your drawings… So where’s your work going next?

I am interested in the idea of accumulating cities. I think there is a need to counter the pessimistic dystopian visions which seem to be the rule today and that the visions we make affect what we do. I am testing a similar approach in 3D and seeking partnerships with game developers or visual effect studios to take the concept even further (anyone?). I am trying to develop several other projects and looking for new opportunities. This is something I do in my free time so we’ll see what takes off, I dont have a grand plan. Over Christmas I may start another drawing instead of the traditional puzzle, its a nice meditative activity if one has the time.

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Alex Bec

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