We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st and Student prize winners of our "The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial" #2 competition – An-Tai Lu from United States!

An-Tai Lu from United States

I am currently a student entering my fourth year at The New School, Parsons, in New York City, majoring in BFA architectural design. I have previously worked on interior projects in Guangzhou, China, with Regular Concept. The majority of my current works are composed of studio work and competition studies. 

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?

My work is mostly a combination of school, competition projects, and internship projects over my years of studies. I’ve focused on medium to small-scale projects as of now. For me, the harmony between architecture and nature/built environment is always an emphasis throughout my design. I have worked with Regular Concept on interior projects on single-family homes in Guangzhou as an intern.

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

Architecture for me is the chance to declare solutions or statements in a subtle and powerful expression. For me, living, studying and working in both locations of New York and Guangzhou, China, the two perspectives both taught me the responsibility of architects in metropolitan areas. Architecture’s presence is long-lasting, and every detail shapes the way of living for generations of people, especially in constricted spaces. The responsibility from influencing an individual’s daily routine, and the well-being community, to the environmental factor decades later, are all important factors architects should consider. With this in mind, I hope to pursue architecture with social and environmental awareness in my future career.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions generate provocative thinking from worldwide perspectives, being in this process challenges me to learn and think on a more complex level upon every entry. For me, it helps to develop deeper knowledge and a broader vision in projects that tackle prominent issues, which is not often in professional or academic work. It is important to always challenge our own limitations in design, in order to achieve a breakthrough.

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

Instead of aiming for the prize, I would always approach competition as a way of learning and self-challenging. There is no definite solution in any architecture project, and entering a competition, and going through the thinking process along with other contestants will make one understand the reason behind every brilliant design idea. It is vastly different than simply observing, and it is a process of learning.

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