We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Honorable mention winner of our Beyond Isolation: Senior Housing competition – Erik Jinmatsu Roberson from United States!

Erik Jinmatsu Roberson

Please tell us about your company (when it was founded, where it is based, how many employees, etc) Alternatively, if you do not have a company, please give us some insights on your own professional/academia background.

Graduate of the University of Toronto (Master of Architecture) Architectural Designer in New York City

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?

I have been interested in projects which retrofit existing infrastructure or buildings for current needs. I have worked on projects at different scales in architecture school and with professors on this topic and would like to keep exploring these kinds of opportunities in the future. I think it is vital for the future of architecture. The topic of Senior Housing has interested me from studying multigenerational housing in Japan. I was further influenced by my thesis advisor Shane Williamson on this topic who worked on these types of homes in his practice. New Danchi brings both of these interests to a design proposal for an issue that will soon be a global and persistent issue. 

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

Architecture can take part in solutions within communities, cities and broader environmental issues. In my studies, I used it as a tool to begin to understand these different communities and cultures and how architecture can contribute to the continuity of these bonds. Through design competitions I hope to address the side of architecture that is meaningful on scales beyond individual buildings.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions like this allow us to join the conversation on pressing global issues and explore if and how architecture can contribute. They can remove certain barriers to being innovative and radical when approaching solutions. I also enjoy reflecting on and learning from the variety of perspectives on these different design prompts.

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

Competitions allow you to reflect on your own design language and beliefs in architecture. It is a chance to think outside of your current practices and challenge yourself to lead a design exercise on topics of your choosing.

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