We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Romantic Cabin For Two" competition – Misak Terzibasiyan, Taura Aurylaitė, Amir Feizinezhadgheshlaghi and Danai Dafnouli from Netherlands!

Teamleader of UArchitects:  Misak Terzibasiyan

UArchitects (founded on the 1st of September 2003, in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands)

The founder and owner of UArchitects (Urban design and Architecture), Misak Terzibasiyan, is personally and professionally focusing on an international context, as well as on the influence of cultural themes. This is mainly based on his ethnical background, as Misak Terzibasiyan was born in Helsinki (Finland).

He studied at the University of Technology in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) and has been working at international architectural offices before founding his studio in the city of Eindhoven. UArchitects is a studio with the focus on urban design, architecture, interior architecture, and product design. UArchitects investigative attitude is expressed in the intensive dialogue we undertake with our clients. The scope for reflection is not confined to the projects themselves; we also look into the wider cultural context of architecture and urban development.

Reflection helps interactions with other cultures, and it helps us to understand our position regarding general themes which are part of society. Understanding the identity of society is fundamental for us when we are designing projects in other cultures and places. It is not a typical critical regionalism, but an open approach to the context. A non-dogmatic attitude regarding architecture and urban design.

Philosophy of UArchitects/Misak Terzibasiyan:

UArchitects are fascinated by the interplay of levels of scale and imagination: the scale of the city and the scale of the individual; imagination in the abstract and imagination in concrete form. We do not look for the interconnection in just one relentless, dogmatic theme; we prefer to investigate it in a range of different concepts. Our design philosophy remains recognisable throughout: intuitive and reflective, and always based on our fascination with people and places.

More information:

Misak Terzibasiyan finished his studies in 1991 at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the department of Architecture, Urban Design and Building Technology. His master studies focused on the sustainability of the living environment.

At the moment, Misak Terzibasiyan writes for the well-known Dutch architecture magazine "De Architect". In the last years, he has won several national and international awards.

-He is also at this moment a jury member at the WAF (World Architecture Festival), WAF China, WAN (World Architecture News), and RTF Awards (Rethinking The Future Architecture Awards)

-He is a commissioner in several cities regarding heritage and architecture.

-He published a book in 2021 with the title "Experience and Meaning of Architecture", which was printed and distributed by booq publishing S.L. in Barcelona

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?

IKC de Geluksvogel in Maastricht (the Netherlands) http://www.thearchitecturecommunity.com/ikc-de-geluksvogel-uarchitects-architect-of-the-year-awards-2020/

School de Brug (Belgium) https://www.archdaily.com/933803/school-de-brug-uarchitects

Living among the Trees (Eindhoven) http://www.thearchitecturecommunity.com/living-among-the-trees-by-uarchitects-international-residential-architecture-awards-2019/

The Wooden City (De Houten Stad, nearby Amsterdam) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruODikVv2uQ

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

Architecture gives meaning to life and our society. It has always been a part of our civilization. There is a thin line between design and art. Sometimes architecture is a form of art – it can also be timeless and iconic. The extent to which architecture can be interesting, functional, beautiful, and iconic often depends on the architect.

Imagining a world without architecture is imagining a world without meaning and without experience of beauty and life. I prefer to speak about architecture rather than the word 'design'. The term ‘architecture’ has a deeper meaning and has more layers than the word ‘design’.

Our – and mine – design process of architecture is an iterative process, and every project starts with a different approach. Since we think in terms of process, there is never just one way of designing. We design in collaboration with a team, and the design process is more of an interaction and a deliberation between team members. This allows you to think in a democratic way during the design process, instead of the top-down approach you often see in large architecture firms.

I see the role of an architect as a team player in the studio and as an advisor and team player in relation with the client. The architect can be modest and empathic in our society; even the architect should be involved in urgent and social themes, such as climate, affordable housing, building environment, importance of the context.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We can think outside the box and try different kinds of concepts and experiments.

Thinking conceptually, applying new ideas, and developing sketches into actual buildings and concepts – in some small measure, it is a feeling of the divine, because you are allowing something that was not there to be created. It appears later in its context, providing meaning and experience.

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

Believe in yourselves and the goals you have. There will be many times that you will have your doubts. These doubts are normal and are part of climbing the mountain of this profession, and of participating in competitions. Also be self-critical, as this will allow you to adjust your goals.

But most importantly, keep your dreams alive and stay positive even if you fail again and again. See the architecture competition as a process to learn and experiment with new ideas. Don’t focus on winning a competition but contribute with new innovations and enjoy the pleasure of doing a competition.

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