We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd prize winners of our "Iceland Volcano Coffee Shop" competition – Ángel Bolaños and Fernanda Díaz from Mexico!

Ángel Bolaños and Fernanda Díaz from Mexico

We are ninth-semester architecture students at ITESM. For a couple of years we have tried to complement our studies by participating in competitions that help us explore other areas of architecture with which we are not in contact within our academic plan.

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?

We are passionate about how extensive architecture can become. During our studies we have had the opportunity to develop social projects hand in hand with the inhabitants of neighborhoods in our city exploring the human and realistic side of architecture. In contrast, we like to face the challenge of thinking of architecture as a field of experimentation of ideas which are transformed into formal exercises. Architecture competitions have been for us the means with which we can understand the duality of architecture in the sense that we can explore it beyond practice, focusing on the concept and the transformation of ideas into architectural exercises.

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

Architecture for us is a discipline that is inclined, beyond solving needs, to solving dreams. We, as architects, bear the responsibility of giving people and society something beyond the tangible, beyond a roof, architecture is feelings, sensations, it is aspirations and essentially dreams.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

It is a way to challenge ourselves by competing with people from all over the world, whether they are students or professionals. Apart from learning new working methods that allow us to develop better as students and future architects.

The competitions help us to explore architecture from a much freer perspective. Outside the academic guidelines, we find in these competitions an escape from how pigeonholed architecture can become in the classroom and we can dare to fly the imagination, to work on new ideas and to put it simply: to dare.

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

We would tell them to dare to live the experience, either individually or in teams, it will undoubtedly leave them with a lot of learning, they will know their strengths and weaknesses and that will help them to continue growing in the field of architecture. More than being measured against students and professionals from all over the world, the competitions are a personal challenge that helps you manage your time better, improve your graphic representation skills and enhance your abilities as a designer. For us they have become an escape from what we do on a daily basis and the opportunity to experience architecture as a compilation of ideas beyond the practical.

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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