We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Portugal Olive Guest House" competition – Otto Ojo and Verena Horning from Canada!

Honorable mention winners from Canada

Founded on the predilection that design is the eternal muse, we are inherently advocates of innovative well-crafted design. studiovol is a practice engaged in architecture, material research, and industrial design. We are committed to the creation of alternative and environmentally resilient constructs that utilize site specific authentic materials that aim to contextually ground our buildings and evoke phenomenological resonance with the place and people they engage.

studiovol is licensed to practice architecture in Ontario (Canada) and Baden-Württemberg (Germany).

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?

A number of our projects recently have been focused on a smaller scale, ranging from Pavilion to multigenerational households to Public Pavilions. Alternative material and building construction methodologies are at the core of our recent work.

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

Our definition of architecture is one constantly evolving, as of late it perhaps could be worded as the reframing of the dialogue between the built and natural environment and our collective will to shape it, and it shape us. As architects we are pioneers, continuously seeking out alternative space design, materials, and construction methodologies. How this knowledge and expertise is used to shape the shared built environment requires community engagement. The architect should no longer be misrepresented as a sole author but rather more of a midwife, gently guiding the work to fruition. The analogy of the midwife illustrates that the role of the architect in society should be as ubiquitous as that of a trusted advisor collaborating in tandem with individuals, collectives, and communities to accomplish their goals.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We see architecture competitions as an opportunity to engage with ideas, clientele, and geographies that are different and removed from those we regularly encounter in our practice. It is a chance for research and investigation, to question, be further challenged, and to experiment with different processes, strategies, and approaches as we continue to grow and evolve our design thinking.

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

Competitions come at a price, time, energy, mental real estate, and finance. You are often doing them while simultaneously balancing your projects, practice and in some cases pedagogical responsibilities. Some you come close, some you don’t hit the mark, but no one entry is the game changer, each building on the previous, helping to hone and expand your design acumen. Competitions can help push you out of the boundaries of your comfort zone and are part of the “balanced breakfast” that promotes inquisitive introspection and constant grow that is in turn synthesized into critical design analysis and the execution of provocative architecture.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

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