We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Green prize of our “Nemrut Volcano Eyes” competition - Sam Naylor and Elaine Stokes from United States!

Elaine Stokes and Sam Naylor from United States

Sam and Elaine are both designers working in Downtown Los Angeles.

Sam is a designer at NBBJ. He studied architecture and psychology at the Tulane School of Architecture in New Orleans, and graduated with an MARCH Magna Cum Laude with honors.

Elaine is a landscape designer at Stoss. She studied architecture and urban design at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by an MLA degree at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where she graduated with distinction.

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?

Elaine’s recent work at Stoss has included urban master plans, installations, and furniture design. She helped design and install Stoss’ project “Thermal Mass” at the Seoul Biennale in 2017, and last month the Stoss team won the Chouteau Greenway Competition in St. Louis. Having studied and practiced design across a range of disciplines and scales, Elaine has become most interested in the way design can transform interstitial and overlooked spaces into places for people (and plants!) to enjoy. Her latest pursuit has been practicing ceramics… a whole new way to experiment with form.

Most recently at NBBJ Sam has contributed to a number of competition-winning schemes abroad, including the Jamsil Sports Complex, along with other large-scale sports and commercial projects. Previously, he worked at Morphosis, fabricating large scale building components, including work on the Alison Mayne Residence. Independently, he pursues a wide range of interests, focusing on visual complexity and organic forms. Most recently he has developed a series of posters, books, and digital drawings, as well as sculptures from unusual materials.

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

Designers have the unique ability to synthesize a broad range of information into compelling projects that can positively benefit society…{insert meme joke}.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Competition prompts give us the constraints and platform to pursue creative design projects outside of the office. They also motivate us to follow through on these pursuits through a financial investment and fixed schedule.

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

Devoting free labor and creative thinking to an unpaid project has the potential to undervalue the work that we do as designers. However, competitions like this can be extremely beneficial to individuals when they designate specific outcomes they can personally achieve through the framework of the competition process. We used this competition as a chance to test out new representational styles and blend the edges of where architecture stops and landscape takes over.

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