We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd and Student prize winners of our “MICROHOME 2019 ” competition - Bilyana Apostolova and Slavena Todorova from Bulgaria!

Bilyana Apostolova, Slavena Todorova

Bilyana Apostolova and Slavena Todorova from Bulgaria

We met during our first year as architecture students at the University of Architecture, CIvil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia. During our studies we found that we work great as a team and that is how the idea to participate in an architectural competition came to us. We are currently in our 3rd year at university. We seek opportunities to show creativity and think outside of the box. Currently, we are working on several projects at university which are very different. The process of teaching at UACEG is organised in such a way that you work on 3 to 5 projects per term, which can sometimes be ​overwhelming. In this way, on the other hand, we have the opportunity to develop various skills and gain knowledge in many fields of architectural planning.

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 company/ individuals have been involved?

We have been working on different academic projects under the guidance of our tutors. From a family house to hotels and office buildings, the projects have different scales and functions. We use different approaches in finding the best solution to each of them.

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

“As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” — Norman Foster

Our vision about architecture can be compared to the passion of a child at play. The energy which is embodied, the elegance of creation, the experience of senses - we go through all of these ‘questions’ standing in one ‘space’ and so many more pop up in our minds. Our senses are strongly bonded with architecture. We feel through the properties of a building, and what is a man without his sense of space? We believe that the architect has a very significant role in society.

We believe that architects have the power to influence the way the urban environment is changing. We see architecture not only as planning, but also as a synthesis between science and art. We believe that architecture could have a huge impact on how social processes and culture are developing, but also on one’s feelings and emotions. Architects have the power to create and design a better environment, one rich in sensations and activities.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We believe that participation in architecture vision competitions can create many great opportunities, especially for students. The basic and fair answer stands behind our personalities and is linked with our passion about architecture and the chance to challenge yourself. Architectural competitions are a great chance to improve many of your skills, to widen your knowledge and express your creativity. You can also learn how to work as part of a team and how to use your unique qualities to complete one project.

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

The decision to be part of a competition jogs you to overcome the borders of everyday architecture, and push you to think outside of this box which money dictates. It allows you to be the architect you always wanted to be, at least for a few months. Moreover, the energy you receive from that kind of experience makes you feel more confident in any future decision you take.

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