We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Gaudi La Coma Artists’ Residences" competition – Dang Khoa Phan and Mohamed Ait Oula from France!
Honorable mention from France
K: I began my academic study in Vietnam and am now continuing my education and working in France. The cross-cultural experience has helped me to develop my skills and critical thinking.
M: I started by studying art in Morocco, design in France and then architecture from which I graduated last June. I collaborate today in an architectural office in Paris.
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?
Projects of your company K: I have the opportunity to take part in museum, pavilion, market and residential projects. M: I collaborate in an active team in the construction of schools and cultural facilities in the Grand Paris
What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?
K: To us, an architecture work is more than just a finished product or a symbol of prosperity, power, or societal concerns. Architecture may assist us in overcoming current situation and envisioning a better future while still appreciating the existing elements. When a concept is materialized in reality, it demonstrates human potential to envision, project, and transform the world. Despite technical limitations of his time, Gaudi's buildings finest depict this strength. We can build!
M: I share the point of view of my friend Dang Khoa Phan. The many lessons that we continue to observe in Gaudi's work, always inspire us. Should architecture really be reduced to an object that has a "role". It is certainly a question of gravity, of the assemblage, of the anatomy of things. But also of the light, the world of the senses, the beauty
Why do you participate in architecture competitions?
K: Architectural competitions give us the opportunity to develop our design identity and competences. The jury's decision and the work of other participants can help us gain a deeper understanding of our design and learn about different alternatives. At the same time, architecture competitions allow us to test our ideas. By pushing these ideas to their limits, we are challenging the design methods and the focus of our time.
M: Participation to architectural competitions comes from three main reasons: The pleasure of thinking, drawing and sharing ideas when working in a group. The idea that the world is a table around which the participants start from the same question and bring a singular answer pleases us a lot. Finally, an architectural competition embodies the magical and embryonic side of the project. An intense moment in time and content where ideas take shape and where everything seems to be possible.
What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?
K: Start small, observe everything, and think about constructions.
M: An architecture competition is a great opportunity of learning communication, decision making, and creativity.
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