We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Berlin Affordable Housing Challenge" competition – Maura Schmitt, Mascha Creutz and Jenny Neubig from Germany!

Honorable mention from Germany

All three of us have recently received our master's degrees from different universities in Germany. During our studies we dealt with affordable housing in various scales and looked for solutions that are not only affordable, but also promote alternative forms of coexistence. Moreover, all three of our master's theses addressed in different ways the implementation of circularity and resource conservation in the construction industry.

Jenny studied at the TU Dresden and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She worked in different offices in Stuttgart, Cologne and Berlin and gathered experience in site management, detailing as well as competitions. The most recent office she worked for in Berlin focused on affordable and cooperative housing.

Mascha studied at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany and has meanwhile worked in various offices in Germany, Belgium and Namibia. Since 2020 she is employed at the Junior Professorship for Reuse in Architecture (RWTH) where she is involved in different research projects in the field of circular construction.

Maura studied architecture at the TU Dresden and the Politecnico di Milano. During her studies, she worked at the Chair of Urban and Regional Planning. She has done various internships in Berlin, Milan, Tenerife, Tanzania in different disciplines: from urban planning, exhibition art, festival and housing projects. She is currently employed in an architectural office in Vienna, working on issues of affordable housing in a sustainable context.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

Our contribution for the Affordable Housing Challenge was our first collaboration. Nevertheless, after the cooperation has been so fruitful and as we felt inspired by each others way of thinking we decided that we would like to pursue further common projects in the future.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

In our perception the architect has responsibilities not only towards the society of today but also towards future generations. We believe that the resource crisis is envitable connected to social injustice and therefore architects can’t address one without the other. To tackle both we need adjusted political framework conditions as well as new architectural approaches.

It is important to us to inspire people to a sustainable perception of the world around them through architecture and to research new questions for a holistic approach in participatory processes.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

The competition allowed us as fresh graduates to put down on paper an idea outside the university context that was not influenced by a professor or a superior. Furthermore, we did not want to participate just in any architecture competition but in one that addresses a topic we consider essential. In this competition, we were able to discuss and further develop our common architectural focal points and themes that we find important and exciting. Through this very discourse, new fields of possibility are concretised and can be experienced.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Architecture Competitions give you the opportunity to challenge yourself regardless of your professional experience. Each competition enriches your craft skills and broadens your horizons. They should be seen as challenges for a freer approach to the questions of our time and as a platform for an exchange without creative boundaries.

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