We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winners of our "Portable Reading Rooms / Edition #2" competition – Danielle Beaulieu and Melanie Monastirsky from United States!

2nd prize winners from United States

- lieu is an architecture & design studio driven by the desire to create unique places rooted in empathy, curiosity and thoughtfulness. The studio was founded by Danielle Beaulieu in 2018 as a part-time endeavor, transitioning to a full-time practice in 2020. The woman-owned firm currently has two employees and is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

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?

- lieu means place. The firm is driven by the desire to create unique places that respond directly to and resonate with their specific contexts – the people, aspirations, program, culture, economics, and environment. - lieu optimistically believes in the ability of thoughtful design to have a profound impact on the lives of individuals and communities. All people deserve good design, and good design can be achieved regardless of scale, typology or budget.

We believe in carrying a diverse body of work. The ability to switch from one typology to the next allows for cross pollination of ideas, surprising discoveries, and a fresh approach to each project. - lieu currently works on a variety of projects including residential, commercial, civic and higher ed – both renovation and new construction. Our heart and passion lies in public work where we have the greatest potential to positively impact a larger population.

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

Architecture largely shapes our experience of the world. The role of the architect is to transform abstract ideas into tangible spaces where our lives can unfold. The architect must design with and for people through empathy and compassion.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions provide us with an intellectual outlet to explore our core interests, investigate new challenges and opportunities, and quickly test out ideas. These competition briefs may deviate from our current projects and provide a refreshing and stimulating exercise.

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

Competitions offer an opportunity outside of school to pursue your interests in a very pure form. There is no client, no budget, no site; you have all the freedom to get in touch with your architectural ambitions and passions.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

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