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Hopefully, I am contributing to a better built environment

Urban Kavka, InnoRenew CoE assistant researcher in sustainable building with renewable materials research group

  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

I lived in Domžale, and currently I am living there again after few years at the coast.

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?

For my bachelor’s degree I studied civil engineering, which I’ve chosen by eliminating other options and mostly because I am a creative person with solid mathematical skills. Through my studies I realised I wanted to get an insight on how to create natural built environment, so I did my master in sustainable built environment.

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

As a researcher my job is to continuously learn by try-fail-try-succeed process. Even though there is plenty of retries during the work, so as a researcher you must be comfortable with coming across different obstacles. However, that is a process I enjoy most – discovering new ways to overcome the struggles.

  • What does your typical working day look like?

There have not been typical working days during my time at InnoRenew, yet, though all of them consist of emails, planning of work, learning, and then of course executing the tasks, which are usually measurement of different kinds.

  • What makes you excited about your work?

Solving problems and hopefully contributing to a better built environment in the future.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

Cables. There’s plenty of them in every measurement and just making sure I don’t get entangled in them is a challenge.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

Leonardo da Vinci, solely for his broad understanding of life. Since I have always been more a generalist than specialist, I admire broader knowledge. Not only was he one of the last geniuses who knew everything that has been discovered until his lifetime, but how he combined science with art is praiseworthy.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

In general all art forms have a special place in my life, nonetheless music is one of a kind. There is no art, including everyday life as a specific art form, that cannot be improved with well chosen music piece. Music on other hand does not need a contributing piece of another art form. What specific music piece I listen is always dependent on time, location, and situation.

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

Last album was a new piece from a friend of mine (X.U.L – tengsl), last movie was Django Unchained, and last reading was also from a friend, poetry book Trgetanje by Pino Pograjc, which got an award from best debut by Slovene Writers’ Association.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

Oh there’s many, spring of river Rižana, Socerb, but if we talk strictly about coast, nothing beats the cliffs and Bele Skale.

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

Finding art and science in everyday life.

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

No matter how much you rush, you cannot squeeze more minutes in one hour.

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

Everywhere we look there is a form of wood surrounding us and I believe that exactly this is charm of wood, its ever-present companionship.