We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Las Vegas Affordable Housing Challenge" competition – Emanuele Carenzo, Martina Conti and Federico Rodio from Italy!

Emanuele Carenzo, Martina Conti and Federico Rodio from Italy

Emanuele Carenzo and Martina Conti are young architects who work as collaborators with different architecture practices in the areas of Milano and Como, in Italy. Federico Rodio is a graduating student of product design at the Politecnico of Milan. We met each other during our studies at the Politecnico of Milan. At that time, we began to exchange opinions on our personal competitions. Since we are two architects and one designer, we were interested in understanding and learning from each other's works.

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?

As individuals, we have worked in more than thirty competitions at various scales, from product design to urban scale. Our projects as a collective focus on architectural design related to the current global housing crisis. We are investigating solutions ranging from furniture to architectural and engineering choices that try to solve the problem of high housing costs. We started this research in 2020 with the Melbourne Affordable Housing Challenge competition, held by BUILDNER, and we continued to study the argument with personal projects and research.

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

Architecture plays a key role in environmental, economic, and social sustainability. In addition to helping to reduce environmental impact by designing energy-efficient buildings and using sustainable materials, it can help create affordable buildings and spaces, also designed to minimize the need for repairs and replacements, with a perspective of social and economic sustainability. Flexible building design is an example of sustainable architecture. These buildings are designed to be adaptable to changes in new technologies and materials, allowing waste and resource consumption to be minimized: they can be formally and materially modified to adapt to changes in their inhabitants and society over time.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We think that entering an architecture competition like this means exploring new and innovative design ideas, without the constraints that other types of projects often have. It is very important to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss and study the most current themes of architectural research. We appreciate the opportunity to express our ideas on how we can rethink and design the world of tomorrow.

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

Entering a competition can be overwhelming as it requires a certain degree of commitment. It is certainly helpful to choose to work on a topic on which you are particularly interested in increasing your knowledge. But the aspect that we find most beneficial is the possibility to build a network of relationships with other colleagues with whom we can continually discuss and perhaps even stimulate future job opportunities.

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