We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Honorable mention winners of our Beyond Isolation: Senior Housing competition – MichaŁ WacŁaw Pietrusiewicz and Krzysztof MichaŁ Afeltowicz from Poland!

MichaŁ WacŁaw Pietrusiewicz and Krzysztof MichaŁ Afeltowicz

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.

Michał Pietrusiewicz is a student of the Faculty of Architecture at the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin. He also combined his studies with landscape architecture design. He gained experience during professional practice in Switzerland in architectural competition projects. The role of man and his experiences in the sociological context and the values of visual arts are his main direction of research in architecture and spatial design.

Krzysztof Afeltowicz has graduated from bachelor studies at the Faculty of Architecture in Szczecin. Actually a master's student in landscape architecture in Poznań. He completed an internship in a Swiss office, where he worked on interior design and competition projects. He always tries to use visual arts in his projects and draws at every stage of the concept, which gives him a greater bond with the designed object.

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?

Building their experience in architectural design, we focus mainly on creating public facilities and small-scale residential buildings. The awareness about the quality of architecture, the role of its user and the processes leading to the feeling of space and creating the atmosphere, so important for proper development and improving the quality of life, is a key design direction for us. A consistent direction in landscape design, contact between humans and nature, understanding their belonging and needs are things they hold in an incredibly high regard. The time spent on acquiring new skills abroad made the aware of important standards in design and science related to creating space. We usually prefer to focus on small projects, where he can create a unique atmosphere, hence the preference towards interior design and landscape architecture.

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

Architecture is a way of inclining humans to reflect on topics varying from profound philosophical and sociological thoughts, commemorating significant events to simply making them stop and introspect, as well as ensuring their efficient and appropriate living environment. What follows is that an architect is an entity responsible for ensuring that those missions are fulfilled as diligently and as fully as possible.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Participation in architectural competitions allows one to improve their skills and acquire new knowledge, as well as broaden their perspective and gain unique, valuable experience. There is great value in observation and connecting with other human beings, which is done in a very particular way during such competitions. They allow for deeper analysis and understanding of other approaches and work ethics. They also facilitate dialogue with people from various cultures and backgrounds.

The amount of resilience and dedication required to successfully design an architectural competition project is a good training and test of one's abilities and stress mitigation techniques, which are not particularly necessary during usual university-level coursework. They ignite passion and commitment and often remind one of why they chose this path in the first place. This particular competition encompasses architecture, science, sociology, and philosophy, and since we're always looking for new, exciting challenges, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to fulfill my intellectual and spiritual desires.

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

This is probably the most difficult question. Everyone should find this self-confidence at a certain stage of design and understand that this is a direction for development and improvement of skills. Getting to know people with similar values and way of thinking in design processes is an important value. Opening up to the world and communicating your ideas is a way of change around us. Competitions are one of these tools. Perhaps some people see a bit of rivalry in it, but in our opinion the main idea is to learn and enjoy it.

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