We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Iceland Lake Myvatn Community House" competition – San Yoon and Minjae Koo from United States!

San Yoon and Minjae Koo from United States

We are currently living in Ithaca, NY, and attending Cornell AAP. San is in M.Arch program and Minjae is in the M.S.AAD program. Before moving to Ithaca, we lived in Seoul and graduated from the Korea National University of Arts with a B.Arch degree. We have not formed an official design studio yet; however, we have continuously worked as a team since 2016 while pursuing individual academic works.

Our team has a long history of participating in many competitions and won several prizes, including the Grand Prize from the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs in 2019.

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?

The scale and types of our projects vary by the given condition of each competition. This series of projects is the outcome of our team’s central attitude. We are always open to new challenges and exercise caution in adhering to repeating similar processes and results. We tend not to choose a similar scale or type of project that we have conducted before. Therefore, every project and competition we have worked on is valuable as it is always a new attempt and experiment. The history of our works is the trail of our progress. Our team’s architectural thoughts and practices broaden as we undergo new projects.

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

Architecture, to us, is a threshold that connects different disciplines with various people. Architecture is valuable not because it holds meaning to itself but because it translates personal, cultural, societal, and industrial ideas into a place where people find value and conjure lingering memories. Because of this, architecture can be limitless. We believe architectsƋrole in our society is a professional who can provide that service and support people with creativity, bravery, and kindness.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We believe architecture competitions are a powerful means to prepare for our own practice. There are many aspects to learn before initiating an architectural business. The competition allows you to think and push independently. It operates differently from academia, enabling you to learn how to be responsible, confident, and innovative without any help from professors. Furthermore, competition is an excellent opportunity for carrying your convictions and experimenting with finessing them.

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

We recommend trying no matter what, and when you do, select a subject that goes beyond your comfort zone. It will not only guide you through widening your views and capacity but also open your eyes toward your own limitations. What you do with them is up to you.

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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