We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "MICROHOME/ Edition 3 (2021)" competition – Chizumi Kano and Masayoshi Nozawa from United States!

Honorable mention winners from United States

Our team is based in the Bay Area. Chizumi Kano attends California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and Masayoshi Nozawa is a student at University of California, Berkeley. We both anticipate receiving our bachelor’s degrees in architecture from our respective schools.

Our shared Japanese nationality and experience interning with the prominent Japanese firm Kengo Kuma gives us common ground, but we bring very different perspectives to our collaboration. Chizumi’s experience living in various places in the world from Shanghai to California has inspired her to begin cultivating an aesthetic that incorporates multiple points of view and nurtures her value of embracing diversity. Masayoshi began his journey towards architecture after experiencing the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake as a child. The desire to contribute to rebuilding and reforming drives his passion for design.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with.

Our studies have led us to engage with the broad spectrum of architectural typologies and styles. This has enabled us to test ideas, form concepts, and hone techniques. We are grateful for the opportunities that education is providing us and experience our design classes as a playground for the imagination that we can bring back to real world applications.

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

Architecture is physical protection and emotional inspiration. It has the power to provide meaningful experience at a scale that can change society. It is simultaneously active and historic. The architect must wield this power and bear the responsibility that it comes with – looking to the past to inform the future and striving to provide the best for society and the individual.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions are a great opportunity to engage our skills and broaden our perspectives through research. Specifically, the Microhome competition’s size limitation was compelling to us. Incorporating green technology and thinking critically about lifestyle and behaviour were exciting challenges as well.

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

The experience, skills and knowledge gained from competing enriches future design and has the potential to create connections regardless of the outcome. To bring an idea into concept, and that concept into a design with drawings and models offers the feeling of satisfaction in knowing our work and aspirations were for a better world.

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