We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Cambodia Remote Hideout Huts” competition – Polina Morova, Angelina Yashkevich and Dmitriy Popov from Russian Federation!

Architecture Competition Cambodia Remote Hideout Huts mention – University College London

Polina Morova, Angelina Yashkevich and Dmitriy Popov from Russian Federation

A myth for us is a story of contemporary life told through form, words, images, and textures. A myth is composed from a variety of images and interpretations; to create a wholesome picture of our myth, one needs to follow the stream of our work and juxtapose one project to another. In structural linguistics, mytheme is a structural unit of a tale, which constructs the relationship between character, space, and event. Reassembled in various ways, these units construct a multifaceted and harmonious story.

Mytheme is a multi-disciplinary collaboration that unites artists and researchers across the world in the “system of symbolic communication”. It is an expandable fellowship that exists in the non-physical realm and grows according to its aspirations. Our multidisciplinary approach to design and striving for experimentation enables us to re-invent the contemporary culture and create alternative architectural narratives that transcend conventional archetypes.

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?

Mytheme is a ‘fictional practice’, uniting people with similar goals across the world. We are artists, architects, journalists, and researchers, aiming to understand and shape new reality. The group was founded in 2020 and is involved in a variety of multi-disciplinary projects and investigations. Our collective grows and shrinks according to the needs, and we believe that such multidisciplinary and adaptive approach to design is a way of creating a contemporary myth.

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

In our work, we incorporate a variety of elements and ideologies, coming from surprising contexts: whether it’s a work of architecture, a tree or a pile of rubbish – anything could become a trigger of inspiration and discovery. Perceiving architecture with open eyes, rejecting the absolutes and accepting contingencies and failure enables us to find the new unexplored paths where architecture could take us. Our universal approach absorbs the variety of creations into an imaginary unity. Each project, therefore, is a constituent myth that is intertwined with social and cultural media as an underlying symbolic pattern.

We see architecture as grounds for investigation. We are not interested in a work of architecture as an object, but rather we aim to investigate how to challenge our understanding of the space we inhabit. As an integral part of the process, we include creative individuals from different backgrounds as a part of Mytheme, which help us revalue our complex relationship with architecture and see it in a new light. Therefore, our design should only be perceived within the set of relationships with the other elements of our myth.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions for us are an opportunity to explore a certain idea, find new inspirations and collaborate with other professionals. For instance, in the context of Vine Retreat, we carried out several conversations with people both practicing and teaching yoga. Such communication allowed us to deepen our understanding of spirituality and awareness. It is not purely the architectural form that is submitted at the end of the competition, but our translation and contribution to already existing values as well. Essentially, with our architecture, we strive to share the little wonders of life and inspire people to see not only our project, but the space they inhabit in a new light.

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

Competitions are only exciting if you do them with the right people. But when you do find your team, there is nothing comparable to the innumerable conversations, questions and even arguments that arise during the design process. Moreover, competitions organised for a specific community and purpose widen your understanding of architecture. Each project requires an individual approach and knowledge. For students and professionals both, participating in competitions could be a way to distance yourself from the day-to-day and simply have fun with the new “What if?”.

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