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Thank you

Motto: “architecture’s beauty is directly proportional to its horror”

Dan Dorocic Education 2010-

M.Arch at Melbourne School Of Design

2009-2010 Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Ont 2002-2006

B.Sc Geography - McGill Universty, Montreal, Qc


High School Diploma - De La Salle College Toronto, Ont

Languages English German SerboCroatian French Spanish

fluent fluent fluent basic basic

Dear Columbia GSAPP Admissions Committee, Architecture has long been a presence in my life. My mother, an architect, often took me along to her office, where I spent endless hours exploring the world under her drafting tables. Hole punches were dismantled to release the ‘confetti’ inside, small drawings were photocopied and blown up to many times their size, and paper airplanes and buildings were modeled, constructed, and built– all leaving a very nostalgic impression upon me. I have moved homes frequently, residing in Croatia Germany, and Canada all before the age of twelve. This urban nomadic lifestyle affected my personality, as I easily integrate into new environments, communities, and social circles. Real estate figured prominently in my parents’ lives. They took it upon themselves to personally redesign and renovate each home in succession. Needless to say, I took great interests in the transformations, noting how fluid the layout of a house can be and the possibilities of designing space. Past experience is a key factor that determines present understanding, how one perceives the world and one’s success as a designer. I believe the experience of continuous movement weighs heavily upon my worldview. I see man’s life as very ephemeral and transient on the surface of the earth. Thus I believe that man’s architecture should reflect man’s dynamic lifestyle. Architecture should act as a formula of the landscape. The urban environment should not stray away from the natural environment. Architecture itself should be a system of sustaining man and nature in a harmonious way. It shouldn’t only shelter, buffer, and remove us from the harshness of the environment but it should keep us tied to it even in an urban setting. Only in this way does it function. Architecture is not only shelter, but it is a monument left behind by generations past, exalting their cultural ideals. Ambi¬tion and drive lets one materialize and utilize ideas. I am very grateful to have such driven parents, providing me the opportunity to experience so much in my youth and to prove to me that with a creative perspective and ambition, anything is possible. I graduated from McGill University in 2007 with a B.Sc. of Geography, but have always been interested in architecture and design. During my undergraduate studies, I took courses in urban planning and architectural his¬tory. I wanted to be more involved in the arts, so I organized ‘art nights’, where I initiated projects making and modifying sculpture, cloth, stencils, canvases and murals with others. I was also very interested in my classes on geology, hydrology, and the environment. In my higher-level classes (300 and 400 level), I scored a GPA of 3.3 (B+). These courses sparked my interest in ideas of social responsibility and environmental consciousness. Many problems arise when thinking about constructions sustainably. In our modern age of many comforts and excess, it is hard to look into a simpler way of being and creating. I have always been very interested in both science and art, and felt that a choice had to be made between the two. Yet this does not have to be the case, as architecture offers a space in which balance is sought between the two. I have always had a passion for creating. At first I wanted complete freedom to created art, it’s lack of utility in the end made me feel empty. Although there are many sciences, which I am interested in, none have been as persistent in my life as my reverence for design. I am ultimately inspired by the improvement of everyday objects, appliances, and our urban environment in terms of utility, beauty and sustainability. Since graduating in 2006, I have traveled to Germany, Scandinavia, Croatia, much of the Balkans, Israel and the West Bank, Costa Rica and Panama, and attended some design and furniture fairs in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Along the way I was inspired to sometimes quickly take pictures, sketch my surroundings, some¬times make artwork, and definitely write and collected many ideas for future works and projects. These places inspired me in many differ¬ent ways and made me more world-conscious. At GSAPP, I hope to obtain a M. Arch and further my proficiency in the language of design. I believe that there is a lot of room to improve upon design today to make the world a more sustainable place. Ultimately, architecture as a system of ideals encompassing nature and the urban environment equals more sustainable de¬sign and more sustainable architecture.

Very slowly, over eons, something started brewing.

movement. energy.


As the energy layered, and layered it intensified.



Lots and lots of time,


more Space

The particles Seemed to Aquire a life of their own. a


Building plan:

or a mistake?

No matter what chance occurence caused it, the form grew increasingly complex. and it seemed to be a runaway train with no boundaries. Exterior Perspective

Site Plan

Cad model

interior Perspective










calls himself the dominant lifeforce...

Over time he conquers the land, the seas and even the boundaries all around him. Where can he go from Here?



skies. Slowly Human starts to realize the enroaching How is he to Get out of his dilemma ....


The unbearable weight of life and death weighed upon the human.

Culture is in an era of chaotic method

yet Humanity

Society is in Paranoid disorder is a Compulsive explosion

Even with all the dangers in his environment Human persists.

The next challange would play out in space.

What if these tents could be adapted to Mars?

earth Architecture (Greek Columns) Martian Architecture (what columns would look like on Mars)

Since atmospheric pressure on Mars is less than one hundreth of Earths, if the tents held an earth like atmosphere, the spatial problems would be much different than what we face on Earth.

Gravity on Mars is 1/3 that on Earth. Therefore architecture could look much different on it.

and managment of space

Was the answer in Design? or was it in the interplay between art,design and science? Did the answer not lie in the obvious place?


The assignment was to design and build a community hall through the manipulating of mass. The roof is the syntax for the programming of the spaces inside. The large curved portion of the roof symbolizes a large hall, a meeting place for many. The broken up section represents small rooms, general spaces for individuals.

The interior of the model. The community hall has an articulated main hall with a courtyard, toilets, and a kitchen. The kitchen and toilets create another two unprogrammed spaces which would be used as smaller meeting spaces and storage space.


The park with the hall sitting on it. The elevated middle roof lets nature into the building, ventilating the courtyard below and lighting up the spaces with natural light.

Can design save us?

The earth is just a framework.

How the story pans out is still up to US.


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