Derek Skalko is driven by design—and by possibility. Over a decade ago, his vision of an award-winning, multi-disciplinary firm was set in motion, built from a single project that captured the imagination of his client and the design community at large. Today, this same passion has only grown stronger and manifested into a thriving residential design practice highly respected for its originality, innovation and execution at all levels.
As principal of 1 Friday Design, Skalko infuses his authentic, hands-on approach from design concept to completion as an essential part in every project. This is a notable difference from the approach of most design practices, and one Skalko believes truly realizes the best outcomes possible for each client’s specific needs and desires.
Skalko’s formative years were spent in a small, rural town in Northern Minnesota, where a keen appreciation for a Scandinavian design sensibility and aesthetic were instilled, leading to a collaborative architectural study between North Dakota State and Melbourne’s prestigious RMIT University.
Skalko then headed West to the calling of Scott Lindenau and Studio B Architects. There, Skalko learned how to run an effectual design practice during a time when Studio B was transforming from a local, Aspen-based studio to the preeminent contemporary architectural practice in Colorado. Running projects from concept to completion, most garnered coveted industry awards and recognition in prominent publications.
Outside of 1 Friday Design, Skalko’s artistic influences, including his professional workings in commercial and editorial photography, continually generate new perspectives. Skalko has also been an active community member serving on the Aspen Historical Preservation Commission (2001-2007) and on the Board of Directors for Theatre Aspen (2008-2010) as well as an Aspen Art Museum Contemporary. In addition, he has participated in several community task forces focused on long-range and master-planning design strategies for the City of Aspen.
Depending on the season, Skalko can be found on a tennis court or enjoying a powder day on any of the area mountains. He claims the best thing about Aspen is simply enjoying life with his eternally understanding and supportive love, Jennifer, and their 13-year-young pooch, Sam.