Building Decks

Architecture Trading Cards
This is an article about me that appeared in the Georgia Tech Alumni magazine a year or so after I graduated from the School of Architecture. I look like I’m 12 in the picture. And a member of the band “A Flock of Dipwads”. I don’t know where my printed copy is and Georgia Tech’s online version doesn’t give a credit to the original author. So, this is an unauthorized reprint about myself.

Forget your sports stars; architecture grad Andrew Duncan offers a new kind of trading card

Wanna trade your Villa Savoye for my Sydney Opera House? Andrew Duncan doesn’t expect his architecture trading cards to spawn an exciting new hobby, but he’s having a great time with them while he shuffles his time between a steady job and work on motion pictures that come to shoot in Atlanta.

Duncan, a 1991 architecture graduate, illustrated and produced his first eight-card set as an “experiment.”

“I like trying new things, and I wanted to see if I could make and sell something,” he laughed.

The cards depict such trend-setting structures as the Unite d’Habitation, and architecture giants such as Frank Lloyed Wright. The backs of the cards contain vital statistics and pertinent historical information. Duncan has completed drawings for 32 more cards that he hopes to have printed this spring. The sets retail for $3 each and are available at the Architectural Book Center at Colony Square, where Duncan is employed part-time “until another movie comes along that I can work on.”

Duncan has come to the attention of Tech Topics readers before: In 1989, as a Georgia Tech sophomore, he won first prize in a writing contest, and was flown to London, England, and the set of the movie “Batman.”

“The set for Gotham City was amazing,” Duncan recalls. “[Anton] Furst’s design for the Flugelheim Museum was just a copy of the architect Shin Takamatsu’s Ark Building in Japan; the cathedral was a reworked version of Gaudi’s LaSagrade Familia.”

The encounter with motion-picture production made a lasting impression. During his senior year at Tech, Duncan answered an ad for an intern to work with the propmaster of a movie being shot in Atlanta, “RoboCop 3.”

“I was working a 60-hour week on the movie set – for no pay,” Duncan said. “And I still made dean’s list that quarter.”

Since then, he has held paying, prop-department jobs with “Stay the Night,” “Pet Semetary 2” and, most recently, “The Real McCoy.”

“It’s a hard business to get into,” Duncan said. “I’ve been trying to work my way up through it, getting to know people, and trying to build a good reputation.”

It looks as though the word is getting around.

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