Passing of my Mentor

Marek Zamdmer 2014 1938-2014

  “When I am gone, things will be exactly the same – only quieter,” said Marek Zamdmer, ever provocative, joking even on the morning of the day he died, suddenly and without pain, on Sunday the nineteen of January. He was right (as usual). It is quiet and we deeply miss the man whose loud laugh was the trumpet that stirred us to be as exuberant and ambitious as he. By Mona Zamdmer.


Mona Zamdmer ( Marek’s beautiful wife) requested that everyone coming to the remembrance of Marek to bring a 8.5 x11 with words to describe the experience with  Marek, to be collected, stored in a box made of birch. 

Jung Hwan Kim_typewriter-01_2014

So, I decided to use the typewriter because Marek always appreciated the one of a kind design and the process that goes into it. Once I started typing, I realized that I am a terrible typist. In the world of  spell check and easy to retype or erase things,  the end result is usually the very similar.  However, my letter to Marek is a one of a kind and it doesn’t existing in the world of the internet. The ink pressed into the paper feels very comforting to me…  and this is my letter to him.

Thank you Marek Zamdmer, for inviting me to become a part of your last 7 years of you life.

You have given me the Architect’s sight to see beautiful things in life.

You have shown me the sophistication of design that I never knew existed.

You have shared so many of your interesting and exciting life stories ( including the time you were in the  Nazi concentration camp in Poland) over few blackberries eaten with a pair of chopsticks.

I will forever remember you as the teacher and a friend,

“Lot of people dismiss or don’t understand what he is saying because they are only using their ears to listen. The secrete is to visualize what he is saying because he likes to use the words to paint the picture of the world that he sees through his eyes, and that makes him the most interesting man I’ve ever met. “ by Jung Hwan Kim.


Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed Architects. presented some of Marek’s design when he was working under him. I was very impressed with Harry’s humble way of presenting, giving credit to his protege’s work.


Marek’s design of the theater at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.  

About 80 people showed up and about 15 people shared their memories with Marek. Everyone knew he was hard person to get used to and most of them had years of arguments however, at the end of it all, everyone who came really thanked him and really enjoyed the great knowledge that he passed on to each one of them.


Marek passed on his knowledge to me  therefore, it is only fair for me to pass it on to others.



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