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We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winners of our "Museum of Emotions" competition – Demet Dincer, Mehmet Metin Polat and Bilge Altug from Australia!
Mehmet Metin Polat, Bilge Altug and Demet Dincer from Australia
We are a team of three architects: Demet Dincer (DD) is a Lecturer at the University of New South Wales in the School of Built Environment (Australia), conducting academic research while keeping her practice as a freelance architect in Sydney.
Bilge Altug and Mehmet Metin Polat and are architects and founders of 9016 Architecture, an award-winning architecture practice based in Istanbul (Turkey) and established in 2011.
9016: We create contemporary and modest architecture that suits any environmental and functional needs. We are committed to generating unique ideas as design solutions with expertise in different building typologies. With a wide-ranging experience in different scales and mostly gained through architecture competitions, 9016 Architecture has been selected for the Arkitera Young Architect of 2022 award in Turkey.
DD: Multi-sensory and emotive design has been one of the leading topics of my research and a highlighted approach in my practice. I am an academic who teaches and researches the societal role of architecture, with a focus on public-private conflicts of space.
The projects that refer to architecture as a tool to create a societal impact bring me and 9016 Architecture together as a team. We previously worked on a competition project that was a memorial and public space design for health workers, whom we lost due to pandemic and our proposal was awarded the third prize.
9016: We work collaboratively between Australia and Turkey, as the time difference becomes less of an issue when you are a team of three like-minded architects, with differentiated skill sets.
DD: Architecture is a tool that shapes the world we all live in, which requires a holistic understanding of what the world demands, needs, or has an impact on. By saying that, ‘we’ don’t refer to humans as architecture’s subjects, even though the architecture is commonly referred to as a discipline of ‘designing places for people’. An architect should be a good interpreter to understand the needs of both humans and nonhumans, to count what his/her design’s impact would be, beyond its human-users.
9016: For years, competitions have been such helpful platforms for us to develop our design approach. We have been awarded various prizes in national and international competitions, and our winning proposal for a Cemevi competition (Beylikduzu Cemevi) was constructed in 2020 and won the 18th National Architecture Prize of Turkey. In fact, democratic settings provided by competitions enable any designer to receive award regardless his/her background. We believe that an architect always has something more to learn, and we consider each competition as if it is a new studio environment to learn from the process of designing, no matter how experienced we are.
DD: I agree. Collaborating and being open to each other’s ideas while forming one design proposal is such a productive process. For me, competitions provide differentiated viewpoints on how ideal architecture could be as a response to a given brief. It inspires me to observe such distinctive (design) responses to the same brief, each one trying to argue its own rationale. Competitions provide a common ground for me to combine architectural research with practice, experiment with ideas, and challenge the (so-called) gaps between academia and practice.
9016 and DD: Competitions are exploration processes to test your ideas and push your own boundaries. Participating would be beneficial to develop your own design approach. Even if you are not a finalist, checking the selected projects and reading the jury report is a fabulous opportunity to learn and develop yourself. They are opportunities where you are encouraged to think outside the box, push your own boundaries, challenge yourself, and develop your viewpoint as a creative (and critical) thinker; especially when a competition topic makes you excited to say something.
Design a structure that would function as a source of education on past events or a method of raising awareness of ongoing injustices
Use architecture to create different emotional states
Present your best work and submit your favorite architectural visualization