We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Memorial for Witches" competition – Olga Skrbenska from Poland!

Olga Skrbenska from Poland

I am a 30 years old TU Delft faculty of architecture graduate with particular interest in public buildings and in the philosophy/ art/ architecture dynamic. I used to work in the Netherlands and Poland, and I am currently based in Norway.

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 have been working on all types of architectural projects, from detailed ones to complex political proposals. Currently, I am focusing on communal architecture: schools, kindergartens, clinics and retirement homes. One of the recent projects that I have been involved in outside my regular professional activity is an art installation called “Il Primo Cerchio del Paradiso” created together with Hans-Petter Bjørnådal for the Venice Biennale. It is a form of an exorcism of a traumatic, yet sublime experience of Italian merchants whose boat went adrift and surviving sailors were shipwrecked off the Norwegian shore.

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

I believe that architecture is the playfield of intermingling forces of the human, the natural, the animal and the futuristic, and it shapes our behavior and frames our possibilities. I am also convinced that it is our job to recognize the poetic dimension that is an invisible line connecting those forces and to highlight the goodness that there is in the world. Architects can take action to change the way we live for the better.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

It is the first competition I have participated in. The topic that I worked on was very personal and I felt like I had something important to say. I am planning to take part in more competitions in the near future. I think that competitions give us the possibility to test new ideas and change the way we think and we design.

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

It takes courage to show yourself to the world but when you are speaking not only for yourself but also for the principles you stand for, the decision is much easier to take.

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