We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to two our Honorable mention winners for our “Legendary Bird Home 2020” competition - Dimitri Nassisi and Antoine Béchet from Switzerland.

Dimitri Nassisi and Antoine Béchet from Switzerland

We are two young professionals based in Switzerland, who’s collaboration stems from a long- standing friendship. With divergent backgrounds, we have different perspectives and expertise that complement each other. The contrast animates our creative process and stimulates positive criticality as we consistently communicate and exchange our point of views.

Dimitri is currently practicing as an industrial designer at BIG-GAME in Lausanne following his Swiss Design Awards-winning diploma project at the ECAL in 2019.

Antoine has recently completed his Master’s in architecture Cum Laude at the TU Delft after a bachelor at the EPFL and work experiences at OMA/AMO and KAAN Architecten.

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 company/ individuals have been involved?

Our personal experiences could hardly be more contrasting in terms of scale, yet our exchanges over the years led us to believe that we shared certain values and that combining our different sensibilities could prove beneficial. Dimitri’s work ranges from small objects such as watches to furniture, while on the other hand Antoine’s work stretches from exhibition spaces to masterplans. Thus, we both arrived with design tools related to our respective backgrounds. We rapidly integrated each other’s methods which enabled us to push our boundaries beyond our academic and professional training.

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

Architecture shapes our living environment. It is a convergence of multiple disciplines and often has to mediate different ambitions which renders the architect’s role complex in its nature.

Curiosity and flexibility are crucial for any architect to adapt to each situation; however, it also implies the importance of methodology. There are some tools in the process of conceptualization or execution which remain permanent in the architect’s position regardless of the scale of the project. Such a role implies that decision making and design strategies are an integral part of the process.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Beyond the appeal of diversifying and strengthening our portfolios, competitions are first and foremost the opportunity to challenge ourselves against other members of the architectural community. It becomes the occasion to improve our communication skills, but also convenient for creative experimentation. Ultimately, it is enriching to discover the other competition entries, to learn from errors and learn how our process can be improved.

Additionally, the cyclical nature of the economy creates a sense of dependability to the creative industry. The Covid-19 related recession became, for us, a chance to reflect on our methodology and sharpen our vision. In short, it is the perfect time for broadening or testing new approaches in the context of a competition, and in return, gain recognition when the work is deemed worthy.

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 both firmly believe that competitions are the best platform for experimentation but also to evaluate ingenuity with other contestants. Be it drawing skills, design originality, concept elaboration or even workflow, all these characteristics will be exercised. Lastly, within this context, it’s also possible to design with few constraints as it facilitates individuals to formalize singular and ostentatious designs to add to their CV’s.

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