We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "The Last Genocide Memorial" competition – Nicholas Hartman from Sweden!

Nicholas Hartman from Sweden

I am a Swedish master’s student at Lund University, working on my thesis project in architecture. Throughout my studies I have been fascinated by various atypical and experimental architectural processes which try to embody and visualize conceptual ideas. Furthermore, I’m inspired by contemporary art. I try to bring in these aspects as much as possible in my thesis topic and in competition entries.

The academia provided me with a lot of theoretical knowledge and architectural ideas, which I did not hesitate to apply to internships outside of the curriculum. I have had the pleasure of working with professionals at Abelardo Gonzalez Arkitektbyrå in Malmö, Sweden, and C.F. M

Brief information about the projects that you have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

At Abelardo Gonzales Arkitektbyrå my work was more small scale oriented. I was working on a renovation proposal Drottninghus attic where we reworked an attic into loft apartments. At C.F. M øller Architects in Aarhus, Denmark. I was part of the competitions department where I experienced working with international projects of larger scale. An example is the winning proposal for Medical School Hamburg / Baufeld 63 Hafencity. Lastly, I have been part of an art and architecture project Konstkiosk in collaboration with international artists, architects, and researchers.

Whether my contribution is for a company or academia, I have tendencies to optimize my workflow. Generative and parametric design have aided my work and consequently impacted its architectural expression. This also applies to my proposal for the "Confront the sky but the earth too" memorial.

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

Architecture embodies architectural ideas that are in constant tension with each other. Some architectural ideas exclude others, creating conflicts and confrontations. Occasionally they work together in harmony and strengthen each other. The city is the battleground of architectural ideas and an architect needs to be able to distinguish between them and to make room for the new ones or protect the old ones.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Architecture competitions proved to be one of the best methods for me to develop as an architect. The knowledge gained by constantly refining and tweaking ideas and learning how to present them proves to be useful in my academic and professional work every day. To this, competitions are a great way to collaborate and reach out to the architecture world. Ultimately, they are the most exciting and fun projects to be a part of!

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

There is nothing to lose. No matter the result, every participant goes through a learning process. It is the best way for anyone to push their ideas to the limit. It is a good exercise which might not be possible in the academic or professional world to the same extent.

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