We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the 3rd prize winners of Iceland Trekking Cabins competition - Jonathon Donnelly and Jennifer McMaster from Australia!

3rd prize winners from Australia: Jonathon Donnelly and Jennifer McMasterTRIAS is a design studio based in Sydney, Australia. The studio is founded on three principles: to create buildings that are solid, simple and beautiful. As designers, we advocate for less but better. TRIAS is led by Jonathon Donnelly and Jennifer McMaster, and was founded in 2016.

Jonathon studied architecture at the University of Sydney, graduating with Honours in 2015. He has worked across several design disciplines, including graphic design, architecture and furniture design. Jonathon is also a maker who frequently experiments with new technologies, building objects and prototypes. Jonathon has received the NSW Design Medal, awarded by the  Australian Institute of Architects.

Jennifer trained at the University of Sydney, graduating with Honours in 2015. She has gained experience with leading practices in Sydney and Copenhagen, and has worked on a range of residential and public projects. Jennifer is the recipient of the MADE by the Opera House Scholarship and the NSW Design Medal, awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects. Jennifer currently writes for the Danish Architecture Centre, and is also teaching design at the University of Sydney.

TRIAS has primarily been involved in housing projects in Australia. Before starting the studio this year, both Jonathon and Jennifer worked on a range of public, commercial and residential projects.

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

To us, designing buildings is all about people, and improving their everyday lives. We aim to create places that bring meaning, comfort and joy to those who use them. We also see architecture as a part of our cultural continuum, so we weave the past with the present, and tradition with innovation.

In our society, architects help create culture. Through their work, they quietly provoke change in our cities, suburbs and landscapes. They encourage people to question how they live and consider how their life, and the world around them, might be different.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions? 

We participate in architecture vision competitions because we believe it’s important to challenge ourselves with different design briefs and situations. Competitions also provide us with an excellent opportunity to pursue ideas and research agendas that we might not have the chance to develop in day-to-day practice.

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

We would say to go for it! Competitions are all about honing your architectural skills and developing new ideas. They are also a really great way to create architecture that is imaginative yet grounded in research. We also find that competitions make great exploratory tools, as a lot of the thinking we develop in competition schemes makes its way into our other projects. Because of this, they also become emblematic of your design.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

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