We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Milan Affordable Housing Challenge" competition – Ofir Albag and Martin Huba from Slovakia!

Honorable mention from Slovakia

We founded studio albaghuba in 2019 in Milan, Italy. We both graduated from the Politecnico di Milano, with a research experience in computational design and cutting-edge materiality. The studio’s vision is focused on the research and design of innovative living solutions, spanning the scale from furniture to buildings and urban development. We currently operate from Milan (Italy) and Kosice (Slovakia).

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?

We have a wide scope of interest, so far we have experimented with projects as diverse as designing a chair or conceptualizing a bridge. One of our seminal projects is Corolla, an outdoor co-working pod with a weather-responsive envelope inspired by soft robotics. Other than that we have been working on a number of residential and mixed-use buildings for private clients across Slovakia and Israel.

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

To us, architecture represents one of the highest expressions of human ingenuity and creativity - it is the ability of man to craft his own shelter and express his artistic visions. It is a highly visible craft that defines people’s environments for decades, even centuries. However, it is also fundamentally technical and carries significant environmental and financial costs. We believe an architect’s role is to reconcile these conflicting needs, to find new solutions and try to persuade others with their vision so it could become reality - a sort of an innovator and a community leader.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We occasionally participate in competitions that align with our professional interests and visions. We view them as exercises, opportunities to delve back into research mode, self-educate, and enhance our skills. Competitions enable us to refine our ideas and showcase them without the constraints of a client or budget.

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

We believe that for many young architects and practices, these competitions provide a unique platform to bring their visions and ideas into the world and do something more interesting outside the routine. Even if you might not win, it formalizes your ideas and keeps them from fading into obscurity, and could potentially be reused by you or inspire others in the future.

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