BIO

Photos 

Born: 1949, Budapest, Hungary
Architect, production designer, human rights activist. Son of the most known post-war Stalinist show trial victim, Hungary's foreign minister, László Rajk (1909-1949). Famous in his own right for anti-regime and human rights activities. As an architect, he became the member of the Hungarian avantgarde movement. In 1975 he joined the Democratic Opposition, the underground political movement in Hungary. In 1980 he was black-listed by the authorities and he had been not allowed to work under his own name for 10 years. In 1981 he co-founded an independent, underground publishing house, and ran an illegal bookstore from his apartment called "Samizdat Boutique". After the free elections in 1990, as founding member of the liberal party (SZDSZ), he served six years in Parliament.

Studied architecture at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary, at the McGill University in Montreal/Canada and at the Columbia University in New York, working as an architect and production designer for several projects and companies.

His artistic portfolio is full with striking and unconventional built architectural projects and more than 100 stage design and film sets as production designer or art director. He was the production designer of the Oscar, Golden Globe and Cannes Grand Prix winner Son of Saul (director: László Nemes) and Béla Tarr's last two movies (Man from London, The Turin Horse). Worked as partner of Costa Gavras, John Irwin, Miklós Jancsó, Tony Gatlif, Fatih Akin and he was one of the art directors of Ridley Scott's movie, The Martian. As an artist rooted into the avantgarde, he often works for independent movies and projects of early-stage artists.

As an academic person, Rajk is a university professor, teaching film architecture at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, giving masterclasses and lectures worldwide at famous universities and art schools, including Princetown University/USA, Concordia University/Canada, Middlesex University/London UK, Film Factory/Sarajevo Bosnia.

Member of the Szechenyi Academy of Literature and Arts (Budapest), for his artistic activities received several awards and prizes including Art Directors Guild/USA, Hungarian Film Critics Awards, Kossuth Prize/Hungary, Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite/France, Solidarnosc Award/Poland.
Married to Judit Rajk


Education and Degrees Earned 
2005 _____________________________________________________________________
"Doctor of Liberal Arts - DLA" degree at the Budapest University of Technology and Economist, Faculty of Architecture
1981 _____________________________________________________________________
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Architecture, Hungary (BMGE)
Architectural postgraduate studies and diploma
1978 _____________________________________________________________________
McGill University, School of Architecture, Montreal, Canada
Master of Architecture degree
McGill University, School of Architecture, Montreal, Canada
MA studies
1967-1972 _________________________________________________________________
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Architecture, Hungary (BME)
Diploma in Architecture


Professional Experiences 
1992-present _______________________________________________________________
University of Theatre, Film and Television, Budapest (SZFE)
Associate Professor, Department of Theory of Art
1972-present ______________________________________________________________
working as an architect and production designer for several projects and companies
1990-1996 _________________________________________________________________
Member of the Hungarian Parliament 
Member, Committee on Media and Culture, Committee on Foreign Affairs

Teaching Experiences 
1992-present _______________________________________________________________
University of Theatre, Film and Television, Budapest
Associate Professor, Department of Theory of Art
Courses for BA and MA students: film architecture history, history of theatre and cinema design, production design techniques, virtual spaces, contemporary architecture and media, communication in film industry
Doctor School of the University: thesis tutorial, research methods, courses
Founder of the Motion Picture Design Department (MA courses)
Responsible for the EU accreditation process closed in June 2009

2005-present ______________________________________________________________
Visegrad Summer School, Krakow, Poland
Senior Lecturer, lectures and presentations on political communication, media relations
1998-present ______________________________________________________________

Lectures on media relations, political communications, visual reflections

Masterclasses ______________________________________________________________

Sarajevo Film Academy, Film Factory, Sarajevo, Bosnia (December 1-10, 2016) 
Middlesex University, School of Media and Performing Arts, London, UK  (November 29, 2016)
Ryerson University, School of Image Arts, Faculty of Communications and DesignToronto, Canada (November 8, 2016)
Holocaust Education Week - 
Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, Toronto, Canada (November 7, 2016) 
Concordia University, Montreál, Canada (November 4, 2016) 
Sarajevo Film Academy, Film Factory, Sarajevo, Bosnia (April 7-16, 2016) 
Visegrad Film Forum
Bratislava, Slovakia (April 5-6, 2016) 
Art Department Masterclass, Reykjavík, Iceland (March 6-8, 2016)
Stockfish Film Festival, Reykjavík, Iceland (February 26-28, 2016) - 
"Third Epoch of Production Design? Son of Saul and it’s Visualization” - see the lecture
Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica
, Mexico City, Mexico (April 2015) 
Sarajevo Film Academy (Film Factory)Sarajevo, Bosnia (November 2014) 
Library of Congress,  Washington D.C., USA(February 2014)  City Space as a Vicious Circle: Visual Design in Béla Tarr's "Man from London” - see the lecture 
Princeton University,  Princeton, USA(February 2014) 
City Space as a Vicious Circle - visual design of Bela Tarr's Man from London” - Tbilisi International Film Festival, Georgia (December 2013) 


Related Work Experiences 

1995-1998 _________________________________________________________________
Adviser to the Hungarian National UNESCO Committee (World Heritage)
1990-1996 _________________________________________________________________
As an MP, responsible for elaborating the Hungarian Media Law (Radio and Television)
1990-1996 _________________________________________________________________
Consultant to the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Washington, USA participated in several missions in: Benin, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Georgia, Madagascar, Niger, Udmurtia, Slovenia, Azerbaidzan


Awards, Honours, Memberships 

2016 _____________________________________________________________________
Art Directors Guild honors - excellence in production design (Ridley Scott: The Martian)
Member of the Szechenyi Academy of Literature and Arts, Budapest

2009 _____________________________________________________________________
Hungarian Film Critics Awards, Best Production Design (The Man from London, directed
by Bela Tarr)í
Kossuth Prize (state award, Hungary)

2007 _____________________________________________________________________
Pro Urbe Budapest Prize (prize of the City of Budapest) for architectural and public art works
2006 _____________________________________________________________________
Commander Cross (Poland)
Solidarnosc Award (Poland)
2005 _____________________________________________________________________
Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (civilian) - returned in protest in 2015
2003-2004 ________________________________________________________________
Legal cultural adviser to the European Union
2002-2015 ______________________________________________________________
Member of the Royal Institue of British Architects (RIBA)
2002-2006 ________________________________________________________________
Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) 
1999 _____________________________________________________________________
Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite (state award, France)
1991 ______________________________________________________________________
Imre Nagy Prize (for the design of the re-funeral of the Martyrs of '56)
1986 _____________________________________________________________________
Shinkenchiku Award (design competition, Japan)
1986-1987 _________________________________________________________________
United Scenic Artists (membership, USA)
1981-present _______________________________________________________________
Member of the Chamber and Association of Hungarian Architects


Recent Books (selection) 
▼ De)construction in (Post)socialist Europe: continuous and variable use of spaces and method (in: Instant Cities by Herbert Wright, Blackdog Publishing, London, 2008)
▼ 1956-2006: Quelles Resistances Culturelles a L'Est de L'Europe? with Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine and Nicolas Truong (in: Le Théátre des Idées, Flammarion, Paris, 2008)
▼ Le cercle des veuves - postface (in: Les Frčres Rajk by Duncan Shiels, Buchet/Chastel, Paris, 2006)
▼ Stratified Architecture - essays on design and architecture (in Hungarian and English, Terc Publishing House, Budapest, 2005)
▼ Underground Lines - works from the period of underground democratic opposition 1972-89 (in Hungarian, English and German, Jelenkor Publishing House, Pécs, 2000)
▼ Radical Eclecticism - essays on architecture 1977-2000 (Jelenkor Publishing House, Pécs, 2000)

                                                               © Rajk 2017