We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the 1st prize winners of our Bangkok Fashion Hub competition - John Gaitan from Ottawa,Canada!

My name is John Gaitan, I am currently completing a Master of Architecture at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. My current research is on the future of retailing and finding architectural solutions to the static nature of in-store shopping experiences today. Throughout my University experience I have created smaller scale ephemeral structures. I find that not many designers have investigated the potential of Popup architecture and there ability to bring life to city centres.

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

The role of the architect is always changing because society itself is always changing. I think it is important to branch off into other disciplines of design to become more aware and sensitive to architecture and fundamental design principles.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions? 

I find the architecture visions competitions are an opportunity within a world scale to explore design. In particular the Bangkok Fashion Hub, and the idea of school within the city. A hub or place to learn cannot be in one place anymore, so the design explored the monumentality of a headquarters with a deployable structurre which students could integrate themselves to the city. Inspiration for fashion comes from everywhere, and my proposal thought ways architecture could accommodate that. 

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

Participating in a competition is difficult, but if you don’t challenge yourself you cannot develop as a designer or propel the profession forward. Ideas of today could potentially be spaces for tomorrow.

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