We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of one of our Honorable mentions for the “Nemrut Volcano Eyes” competition - Guido Mitidieri and Venessa Mok from Finland!

Guido Mitidieri and Venessa Mok from Finland

Our team is not a company. We met each other when both of us were studying architecture at Aalto University  of Arts and Architecture in Finland. Guido is a licensed architect, graduated from the University of Architecture of Florence and with a Master’s in Wood Architecture at the Aalto University. He is also an environmental artist candidate for a PhD position at the Aalto University of Art. Venessa is currently base in Finland and Spain, preparing for her master thesis in Aalto University. She has a BSc Architecture from the University of Bath in UK, and previously had worked in UK, Hong Kong and Japan.

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?

This is the first time we’ve worked together. Guido is an architect practicing his profession as a freelancer, while Venessa has been involved with design projects for a few architecture firms as an architecture student. Guido is working on small-scale buildings and installations because he enjoys having the control over the decision-making process and the outcome. He has developed a Wood Theatre and Pavilion in Helsinki; he designed an exhibition setting and structure in Taiwan for Casagrande Urban Laboratory; he is now working on 2 restoration projects in Italy. Venessa is open to work with projects of different scales as she is at the stage of experimentation. She had designed professionally for building renovation and interior, exhibition design and fabrication, and pavilion design for Venice Biennale 2014. Currently Venessa is expanding her architectural interest in landscape design and working on her academic thesis in Helsinki.

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

I think we do have different views on what architecture is and I do not like to try to compromise this. For Guido architecture is primarily an instrument through which to observe the Universe. We often forget that we do not own what we are building, everything is a gift. These gifts are details on Planet Earth and each single piece of architecture should suggest to people this idea of intimate connection: with elements, with the site, with matter and spirits. Venessa understands architecture with an anthropological perspective. She sees architecture as a phenomenon that reflects social value, and it is made up by small fragments of every moment in time. She likes to create space that connects humans to times. Because of our different insights, the design process is usually the discussion of the position of humans in relationship to space.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

This is a good way to keep the mind rolling and flexible. Competition usually puts architects in a position of searching for questions before coming up with a solution. These are interesting moments for experimenting. Besides everything else, it is a way to put in act new collaborations, like our team did. 

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

If you feel you like a topic and you have something to say about it do it. Competitions are instruments for developing your own technique and approach towards projects. Depending on the time you give to complete the task it may be a long, slow process of research and design or a final rush to the main goal. I think it is important anyhow to assume the responsibility of our work and treat a competition as a serious design for a client.

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