Søren Nordal Enevoldsen – Founder of SNE Architects

[quote style=”boxed”]Free education for everybody. With knowledge comes better decisions.[/quote]

Søren Nordal Enevoldsen graduated from Aarhus Architecture School in 2003 and is a member of the Danish Architects’ Association.

He founded SNE Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2006. Since 1988 Søren has been a committed skater himself, and still remains passionate and active on a high level. Skateboarding presents opportunities to creatively interpret the urban environment. This
became the stepping-stone for an interest into architecture and design, and remains key to this day.

This is manifested in the understanding of how a subtle change in surface texture, the tiniest level change and the variety of tempi, all shape how we experience our surroundings. Also perceived as architectural elements, that affects our movements and our
perceptions of the urban fabric.

Søren’s continued engagement in the skate community and in architecture creates a synergy central to how he approaches each project.

What are you working on right now?

– I am doing a lecture tomorrow regarding design in climate adaptation.
– I am on my way to the United States.

I got a scholarship from the Danish Art Fund and the Architect Association to go and investigate
“Urban leftover spaces and social potentials.”

And then I am working on:
– A children’s library and recreational garden in Axum, Ethiopia.
– An inner city schoolyard redesigned to also function as a public space.

The schoolyard will combine progressive schoolyard activities with skate and parkour facilities as well as hang-out spaces and fitness equipment,etc.

At night we will integrate interactive light art designs.

Where did the idea for SNE Architects come from?

I have been skateboarding my whole life, and through that I’ve always had a natural obsession with urban spaces (parking lots, drainage canals, industrial areas, abandonned areas etc.) so when I entered the school of architecture that passion was combined with an academic knowledge of these areas. So it was natural for me to integrate my passion for skateboarding and urban space into a practice.

How do you make money?

I don’t have a business model per say. I have my office, my computer, my pen and paper and my brain, and now my first employee. To this day I haven’t had time to promote my company. I have been fortunate enough that people call me for my services up until now. Now with an employee I have a good dialogue to optimize the designs and make them better. We have a faster flow now, and will hopefully have time to make some proactive business seating. And we intend to get 1-2 interns to help out with the design etc.

What does your typical day look like?

It is very different from day to day. I do everything from designs, construction meetings, project pitching, detailing, looking at materials, talking to engineers. Lectures, advisory board etc etc. Now with an employee I hope to minimize the amount of different tasks every day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Through research and hard work. And a intuitive approach through my skateboarding background.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Japanese and french skateboarding. And progressive science fiction movies.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Working at the coal harbor in my hometown to make money to go to the states to skate. The work sucked, but the people where fun to hang around. I am happy that I have worked a lot of different jobs, since you get to respect different perspectives on life, depending on where you come from. I would hate to only know the academic side of life.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would be more patient and not get so angry. I am still working on it 🙂

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I am consciously trying to embracing non-commercial ideas and projects. You never know what it can bring in the future. I am a very intuitive person, and it is not until lately I am getting to know the potential in embracing the potential in meeting new people and say yes to meet up. I have always done it, but I am now aware that it can be used as a conscious tool in order to be part of new and exiting projects.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Sometimes I am impatient, and very emotional in a project process. And due to that, I have burned some bridges. I try to be more calm, and not let my emotions control me too much, if someone makes stupid decisions or is unfair. I try to choose my battles, and be a bit more strategically. But it is a balance, because you need to be emotional in a project, and not become a two faced politician.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Free education for everybody. With knowledge comes better decisions. It is hard for me to do much about it, but right now I am designing a children’s library in Ethiopia, hopefully that will be a positive drop in the huge pond.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I once knew how to fold 100 different Origami figures and I can play the Jewish harp.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

I am not that much into the newest online tools, so I’ll have to go with E-mail, Dropbox and Tumblr.

Email and Dropbox for the obvious reasons that they help me in my work through easy communication.

Email are also a nightmare though, because the keep coming and coming so it is hard to focus on designing.

Tumblr is a good tool to find inspiration for my work.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Non stop” by Brian Aldiss. Because Science fiction is… and Mr. Aldiss writes.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

I don’t use twitter, But if Stephen Hawkins, Brian Aldiss or Peter Zumpthor is using it, I’d for sure follow them.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Yesterday, Watching “Old School” (for the 5th time) with my friends.


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