editorial-feature-jeffrey-dungan

Q+A: Jeffrey Dungan, Founder of Jeffrey Dungan Architects

Jeffrey Dungan

Founder, Jeffrey Dungan Architects. Award-winning architect. Alabama

Written by Julia Davila

Jeffrey Dungan epitomizes the young child who grew up with a love for art and drawing. During his formative years on his family farm in rural Alabama, Dungan was drawn to nature, which would become the inspiration for color, form, shape, pattern and light that can be seen in his designs and architecture.

“I love beauty and simplicity, I think nature is the best source and am fascinated by natural materials displayed in a simple way. I am a closet modernist, and like to take traditional vernaculars and clean them up or strip away the superfluous parts,” Jeffrey Dungan said.

Known across North and Central America, Dungan’s passion for creating spaces that instantly draw you in is apparent through his spectacular work. His down-to-earth, gracious and positive energy is captured with drama and flair, yet calm and quiet spaces — just take a peek at his Instagram and you’ll understand why.

ON GAINING INSPIRATION FOR EACH PROJECT… 

The site is foremost at the beginning especially you need limits, you look for the view out and the view into. The sun and its vaulting path can be ignored, but I would rather design like farmers did a hundred years ago with the sun and with the topography.

ON FOLLOWING ARCHITECTURE TRENDS AND INCORPORATING THEM INTO HIS WORK…

I don’t tend to, no – I’m somewhat aware of them because of media, but not in a way that I allow [them] to influence me to a great degree, I’m fairly hard-headed in some ways. Beauty, permanence and delight (vitruvius) are the trends I do aspire towards.

Yes, [I incorporate] beauty [in my work] – I hope always for that to be a trend. Of course, there is always fashion in any work (brass was out- now [it’s] back in, for example) – that always changes, but the timeless designs speak for themselves.

THE THREE WORDS HE WOULD LIKE TO COME TO OTHER’S MINDS WHEN THEY THINK OF HIS WORK…

Authentic. Timeless. Inspirational.

ON HAVING A GOAL FOR EACH PROJECT…

To fit the site in a special way to capture its energy and all that particular piece of earth has in it. Of course, to make an experience within these walls and to lead people through it or allow them to discover what you saw for themselves.

HIS ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ARCHITECTS AND DESIGN ENTHUSIASTS…

Go for it and be brave, learn from others – and don’t forget it’s about people. It’s about people – other people.

ON AVOIDING AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS AT EVENTS…

What awkward conversation?

ON MAINTAINING HIS INBOX WITHOUT IT SLOWLY TAKING OVER HIS LIFE…

Delete. Forward and delegate. Reply promptly but not immediately. …Repeat.

ON HIS BIGGEST INDULGENCES….

Playing chess and backgammon. Instagram. Music. My guitar(s).

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