We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the 3st prize winners of our Red Square Tolerance Pavilion competition: Thomas J.G.O' Brien and Emile S.A.M. de Wit from Denmark!

This is effectively our first collaborative project since becoming professionals. We met in 2012 when we were among the first handful of international students to begin the new international masters program at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. Although we both took several studios separately, and developed our skills accordingly, we struck up a good friendship and established a clear and interesting dialogue surrounding architecture, psychology and the world we inhabit.

Since establishing an office six months ago in a back-room of a custom bike shop in Aarhus, we have been busy enjoying an expressive and multidisciplinary approach to conveying ideas for change. We are constantly learning and developing our thoughts and skills, and are excited about what the future holds for our collaborative effort. We believe in clear, refined and imaginative communication and expression. Through consistency and high readability, we try to forgo ambiguous ideas and focus on precise and solid concepts. This takes form not only in the visual, but extends to the vocal and written too and is something we will always evolve and discuss. We constantly indulge ourselves in a variety of different programs and tools to materialise our ideas as fittingly as possible.

Many of our projects reside between the urban and building scale. Within this, we always make an effort in experimenting with various methods that help us intersect our angles of interest with the meta-physical information that can give shape to our ideas. Being a young office, we have yet to define the scales we are most comfortable in. We work competently on an urban scale and we always include this scale of understanding in our projects. Regardless of the eventual scale of intervention, this approach allows us a broader and more comprehensive understanding of how our proposals relate to the greater context and makes it easier to distinguish meaning beyond mere design rationale.

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

As architects, we are in a privileged position of studying society through an array of subject interests. We analyse, problem solve, communicate and navigate complex and multi-layered agendas with a playfulness and imagination. We believe that individualism is a mere enforcement of the ego and that on a macro scale, the perception of mankind as a collective holds far greater value. Too often as Architects, designers and free thinkers, we are distracted by the monotony of every day life. Too often, we neglect to indulge ourselves in re-thinking situations that could dictate not only our futures, but the destinies of others and the world. We accept ‘the way it is' even if it feels wrong, because it is the way we have always known. As children, from the time we learnt to speak, we are instructed to listen. With this we inherit the problems, habits and misdemeanours of our world, but as adults we are free to contest these fundamental aspects and inspire positive change.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

The ‘self directed’ approach to learning and developing that we learned in Aarhus can be seen in the various endeavours we have been part of since graduating as Architects in the start of 2014. Our conversations have been developed into projects, as we believe that if we feel and discuss strongly enough about a topic, it is worth punctuating in project form. Competitions like these provide us with an effective platform to express many of our conceptions that we aspire to develop more deeply. Central to establishing our vision is not only to stay positive, but find a way of contributing to change in our world. Of late, one of our major discussions has revolved around the disparity of wealth, power and information in our world. It was with some divine coincidence that we discovered this competition for designing a Pavilion for Tolerance in Red Square, Moscow.

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

It is as important to elaborate on your ideas and beliefs as it is to build. Discussion and dialogue helps us understand the value and meaning behind our reasoning and clarifies what architecture means to us. Ultimately, vision competitions like these allow you to devote a substantial amount of thought into the theoretical and visionary aspects that relate to your ambitions in architecture. The outcome can help you reflect on you process, decision taking and sense of direction. With the creativity of ideas competitions comes the opportunity to re-imagine situations that are too often overlooked. Through participation you can inspire and promote change.

Red Square Tolerance Pavilion 3st prize:

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