We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Office 2021 Design Challenge" competition – Wenjun Wei and Qi Chen from China!

Wenjun Wei and Qi Chen from China

Our team is composed of two architectural undergraduates. Qi Chen is currently enrolled as a 3rd-year student in the Architecture Faculty of the University of Cambridge, Wenjun is a 4th-year student at the University of Bath. We had internship experiences in several international architectural firms, including MAD, GMP, and Studio Zhu-Pei.

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?

As two Architecture Undergraduates, we explore practical and creative skills at the school and aim to integrate structural, environmental, and sustainable principles through studio works with design briefs involving a variety of categories of programs, from public libraries to botanical museums. As active participants in international competitions, we committed to eliciting seminal envisions toward the future trends of urban space under the social-economical impingements led by the pandemics. In 2020, we won an honorable prize in the WREN competition, proposing a design strategy for residents suffering from the sanitation crisis in the slums of Makoko. We hope to utter our thoughts on the future development of an architectural typology of office space in the post-pandemic era.

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

We explicitly realized that architecture and urban practices in the 21st century are squarely based on the solid achievements of high-tech, structure engineering, material experiments and environmental science, meanwhile, it should also reflect the cultural rudiments and humanistic spirits of specific regions. Architects should own responsibility to the current and future generations for establishing a sustainably developing habitat with their critical insights toward ecumenical issues in the aspects of social-economics, environment, and even cultural preservation.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We hope to utter our thoughts on the prospective developments of an architectural typology of office space in the post-pandemic era. Our proposal does not aim to give a decisive spatial solution but instead challenges the conventional office design and raises discussions toward the relationship between individual workplace and common space in the modern metropolis.

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

Participating in an Architecture competition helped us practice our creative thinking away from the educational criteria' restrictions and limitations. There is no right or wrong and participants could gain a precious chance to visualize their viewpoints on different questions and integrate their theoretical knowledge into design conceptions.


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