We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Berlin Techno Booth” competition – Fabian De Vriendt, Arnout Stevens and Mathias Spiessens from Belgium!

Fabian De Vriendt, Arnout Stevens and Mathias Spiessens from Belgium

We are three recently graduated engineering architects who studied at Ghent University (Belgium). In 2019 we went on Erasmus exchange to TU Munich (Germany), where our connection became a strong friendship. After returning to our home university, we developed the idea of participating in an architecture competition.

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?

Though we all studied at the same university and chose more or less the same trajectory, we have our personal interests and strengths. One focusses more on the engineering aspects, technical details, and simulations, another one focusses on aesthetics, architectural qualities, and artistic questions. Bringing these different aspects together in one team leads to a holistic design. Large scale design strokes meet small details already in early design stages. Everyone has an equal share in the design and production. Our good friendship makes us understand each other’s thoughts and trust each other’s insights. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of others, the experience, and specialisations on specific topics, we discuss and overthink every detail. 

The first competition we participated in together was the Legendary Bird Home competition of 2020. This particular competition gave us the opportunity to transpose our attention to detail onto a small scale product design. Getting away with the first prize was something we were only dreaming of back then. It definitely gave us the courage and hunger to participate in more competitions. Afterwards, we participated in the competition ‘a school for Tanzania’ where we amplified our team with two other friends. For the Berlin Techno Booth competition, we scaled down again to the original team of three. Besides these, we’ve all done some competitions by ourselves as well.

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

Architects are the conductors of the society, they are the poets of space, the directors of people's behaviours. They hold the key to connect people with each other. Writers use words to express their thoughts, architects use space. Though people use words to express themselves, silence could be as powerful as words. In the same way, open space is as important as buildings. Architecture shouldn’t be about ‘building quantities’, but about ‘gifting qualities’. Architecture should be humble to the environment, the existing infrastructure, and the society. It should be there for everyone as a connection medium. However, nowadays, architecture has become more complex than ever before. Every generation has their own challenges. It is important to fit the architecture in the current times, but at the same time to prepare our built environment for the future.
“Architecture is the process of turning noise into techno.”

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Architecture competitions seek out non-traditional solutions, ‘out of the box’ ideas. These sparkling ideas won’t just pop up in the mind, they are the result of a process, researching, reading, talking, thinking, sketching, producing, and constantly questioning own thoughts. This stimulates the imagination and the creative mind. Besides that, it is a lot of fun searching for these solutions when you’re passionate with the craft.

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

What are you waiting for? You ain’t got nothing to lose. “Creativity takes courage,” said Henri Matisse. Just grab the chance, get inspired, tease your creativity. Beautiful things can come with it.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

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