We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial" #2 competition – Javier Barrios Rodríguez and Jesús Vera Zorita from Spain!

Honorable mention winners from Spain

Tokileku, founded in 2019, is a multidisciplinary design research group with three components of which two of them are Javier Barrios and Jesús Vera. The group is based in Bilbao Vizcaya. Javier Barrios is a graduate and qualified architect from the School of Architecture of San Sebastian at the UPV-EHU. He is currently working as an architect in Mercabilbao designing a new agricultural and food centre. Also he had participated in theplayyou (https://www.instagram.com/theplayyou) in the divulgation of architecture for students. Jesus is a service designer and studied design at UPV-EHU and ESNE- University School of Design, Innovation and Technology (Madrid). He is currently working as a service designer at INGKA IKEA designing the shops of the future.

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

Jesus Vera: The architect is one of the few people who have the ability and responsibility to think ahead and influence people in their routine and life. He decides what is habitable for a person. Architecture, on the other hand, is the exercise of projecting in a negationist but optimistic way, that is, thinking that things can be better than the current reality.

Javier Barrios: Architecture is an art and a technique. It results from the combination of conceptual and even abstract and poetic ideas, which become reality through a sustainable execution that affects the real world and its perception. The architect who is able to design scenarios that are not only habitable and functional for people, but with poetics and narrative that improve the environment and people's lives.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Javier Barrios and Jesús Vera: By participating in competitions, it is possible to compare the reality of different people and their perception of a problem and its corresponding solution. It's a challenge to develop as an architect or designer and make a name for yourself.

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

Javier Barrios and Jesús Vera: It's a chance to practice and make a name for yourself, which pushes you to improve. It helps you understand that maybe an initial idea is not the best solution you can do.

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