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 - Marilu de Bies and Simon Wijrdeman from Netherlands!

Marilu de Bies and Simon Wijrdeman from Netherlands

Both Simon and Marilu are graduating students from the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. Before attending the academy Simon finished his Bachelor’s in Spatial Design at the Art Academy in Utrecht. Currently Simon focusses on graduating, and specialises in the future of working in relation to the digitalisation of our society and the impact it has on the current office typology. His vision is to create a generic work space where the old economy and the new economy start working together.

Marilu has a background architectural engineering and finished her Bachelor’s in Groningen with honours before starting at the academy in 2014. She is very socially driven in her architecture and currently working on finding a new housing typology for families living in the touristic inner city of Amsterdam. Looking for the boundaries between an ideal living situation and the overcrowding because of tourism.

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?

Marilu and Simon both work in separate offices in Amsterdam and Utrecht and work on the small housing scale, finding out specific typologies, up to public scale, fitting work into the bigger context. Together they work on a wide range of projects.

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

To us architecture is a tool to elevate the world around us, where stories can be told. By means of a concept, materials or working together and listening. The architect has the ability to translate and visualise this to the right object. The architect, we believe, is in a way a catalyst and a binding factor in the living environment. Where every object is perceived as its own identity.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

For us as students and working architects, participating in this vision competition was a way to step out of the boundaries of the day-to-day profession, and helped us broaden our horizons on how to take on projects. With this we concluded that every assignment, also within the profession, should be approached in this way. Keep a fresh mind on what architecture can mean or express.

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

Just go for it! Take some time in your day or week to take on different projects and challenge yourself creatively. Try to work together in a team with people that think outside your comfort zone, to see other visions on architecture.

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