We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "The Marker Design Challenge" competition – Dunja Ratkovic from United Kingdom!

Dunja Ratkovic from United Kingdom

As a child, I’ve never dreamt about becoming an architect. I wanted to become a doctor instead. In the end, I became a doctor for the human soul, as some might say. I’m grateful to be able to do what I love.

After graduating from the University of Architecture in Belgrade, I stayed there for few more years helping my future colleagues with their inspirational projects while working in one studio on various types of projects at the same time.

Recently, I’ve moved to London to explore new horizons.

Quince Design Studio is my London-based oasis of creativity where I work as an architectural designer and artist.

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?

I truly enjoy what I do. I can simply find inspiration in everything that surrounds us. My projects respond creatively to their context, regardless of their size. I find myself in many fields – from feasibility studies, urban and concept design, over architectural design to more detailed, interior design.

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

The purpose of architecture is to improve human life, and in order to create something that will be recognized as such, we have to go through the process of self-discovery, to put our ego aside. Behind every successful architectural idea, besides the great amount of knowledge, passion, energy and commitment, there has to be a lot of flexibility and understanding of people’s needs and ambition. We must think of architecture as a complex social system.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions are an amazing intellectual exercise which give us the opportunity to explore architecture in its pure form without any practical and mental boundaries. They give us the opportunity to talk with our inner self, to work on our decision-making, and fight our self-doubt. It is a battle against ourselves.

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 no greater satisfaction than a victory over ourselves.

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