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Founder and Creative Director, DMAC Architecture
Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, founded DMAC Architecture in 1995 and spearheads the studio’s design team as Creative Director and Principal. The son of a builder from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Dwayne comes to architecture through construction. Dwayne’s pragmatic preparation for his career in architecture remains important in the structural and functional integrity of his designs. He consistently seeks and responds to opportunities for design innovation that is not confined by style. Instead, Dwayne takes a user-centered approach combined with observations of contemporary living and working styles in order to create spaces that fulfill the client’s needs while maintaining the highest architectural standards.
What 3 cultural elements have impacted your life in architecture and why?
An Exposure to Architecture from a Young Age
I was exposed to life in architecture at a young age as I worked alongside my father to build simple, builder homes from scratch. We would have a plan on a sheet of paper with no other drawings other than an idea of how big the building footprint should be. We would build the foundation and then design it “full size” capitalizing on the opportunity to make it better. The rooms and spaces would evolve as we went, seizing those opportunities when it mattered most, which is so important to an architect’s understanding of what those spaces will feel like. I don’t think I would have the same sense of space when drawing today, if I didn’t come to architecture through building in my early teenage years with my dad. As architects, we experience the space or imagine what it could be as we develop concepts. We draw to communicate to others—this is the currency of our craft.
A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman is one of those rare books that is both poetic and insightful. When I finished it, it was like saying goodbye to a friend who took me on a journey where I came back seeing the world with different eyes. As architects, we must engage all the senses to create spaces that matter and that have an emotional impact.
Antoni Gaudi’s work in Barcelona has certainly impacted my life in architecture. I spent a year in this wonderful city studying architecture. I realized that even the very original works of Gaudi exist within the framework of the culture of place—inspired by but not nostalgic Regardless of a like or dislike for the aesthetic, his work was both original and contains the arts where the design of the interior spaces remain integral to the complete architectural statement.
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