Michaela Pánková

photo: Eva Kořínková
Opening reception 2023, photo: Eva Kořínková
photo: Eva Mořická
At opening reception 2022 with former UK ambassador Nick Archer (on the left), photo: Eva Kořínková

What is your profession?

I graduated from culturology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, a field that is unfortunately no longer taught there. Back then, it was a very progressive approach to the study of humans, connecting social and cultural anthropology with other humanist fields. Culture was seen not only in terms of arts and aesthetics but as everything around us, the thing that makes us different from animals. In my diploma thesis, I focused on the origins and development of consumerism. I always imagined myself working in culture, I just didn’t know what I would do. 🙂 At first, I worked for the nonprofit Tanec Praha and then for other nonprofit projects and festivals throughout the years. I found my calling in public relations and marketing, but the truth is that school did not prepare me well for this job. I had to figure a lot of things out on my own, but I also had help from my colleagues who initiated me into the mysteries of PR. 🙂

How did you start working for OHP?

In the spring of 2014, I worked as editor of the festival catalogue for the film festival Jeden svět (One World) and accompanied one of the main juries. In the summer of that year, I was involved in the festival EnviroCity, which took place in the gardens of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development. Then I started looking for a new job, thinking about which field I felt the closest to. The truth is that architecture has been my passion since high school; I always enjoyed exploring interesting buildings, and I even worked as a tour guide at Müller Villa during my studies. In the spring of 2015, I noticed that my colleague Bohdana from Jeden svět shared an event on Facebook, which was the first Open House Prague Festival. I immediately sent her a message saying that I absolutely needed to be a part of that project, and I asked if I could maybe help out with the catalogue. 🙂 I loved the idea of an architecture festival for the public which showed the beauty of Prague buildings. We quickly made a deal. The first Open House Prague was held in 2015 along with the first ever festival catalogue, which was distributed for free back then and all copies were gone by Saturday. I also joined the festival as a volunteer tour guide at Florentinum, which was a great, high-adrenaline experience that I like to think back to still to this day.

Which building/part of Prague or architectural style is your favorite?

I’m a minimalist, I like the clean lines of functionalism and beauty that lies in simpleness and effectiveness. I like the geometrical Art Nouveau and all architecture styles of the 1st half of the 20th century. When I studied in Germany and England, I admired the brick buildings there, which we don’t have many of here. I’m mainly fascinated by industrial buildings. I love to see when an abandoned factory is given a new purpose, which is what happened recently with Automatic Mills in Pardubice.

How long have you been working with OHP and what do you enjoy about it?

I’ve been working with Open House Prague since the first festival. I started out as editor of the catalogue, then I took over coordination of all graphics related to the campaign and eventually over the entire PR and marketing. I have a great team of colleagues here, with whom I get on very well. I also feel the incredible energy that the project is able to raise among people. I love the festival atmosphere, the enthusiasm of visitors and our volunteers, who have created an amazing community throughout the years. I love being a part of such a huge event which manages to let thousands of people walk through open building during one weekend. I like the openness of the event and the freedom and ability to come up with new ways to develop the festival and our year-round activities.

What are your hobbies?

I always did some kind of physical activity ever since I was a child, whether it was gymnastics, acrobatics, contemporary dance, or ballet. I need physical activity to keep my body and mind in function; however, now that I have little children, I don’t get as much of it. I like to do pilates, go on walks, take a ride on a bike, do cross-country skiing, or rollerblade. When I want to relax, I watcg TV shows, movies, and documentaries. I used to be a passionate reader, now I only have time to read on summer holiday. When my children grow up a little, I want to go regularly on walking tours that we organize as part of our year-round events and generally go out more, e.g. to see exhibitions or go to a theater. I think it’s amazing that we live in a city that has so much to offer.

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Throughout the year, we send our newsletter about the festival and other events in english.