We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of one of our Honorable mentions for the “Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Sylvain Garcia and Camille Grand-Dupré from Australia!

Sylvain Garcia and Camille Grand-Dupré from Australia

We are long-time friends who managed to stay in contact since we were both 12 years old. We are 28 years old today and have both travelled the world. Camille studied architecture before traveling through the USA, Asia and Oceania. He returned to France a year ago to complete his Master’s in architecture at the Superior Architecture School of Normandie  (ENSA) with high distinctions. He is now working towards coming back to Sydney to establish himself as a 3D Artist focused on architecture.

Sylvain moved to Canada from France shortly after finishing college and moving to Sydney, 6 years ago and establishing himself as a digital designer focused on user interface and user experience design. He is currently working as a full-time digital designer in the health care sector.

We both always had a strong interest in architecture and interior design and we’ve always bounced ideas back and forth about creative projects. This competition felt like a good fit to put both our minds to work on one concept.

Brief information about the projects that you have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Camille has been traveling the world to broaden his skills & views on architecture to better integrate the world and its inhabitants in his designs. His latest project was on a bigger scale, working on the transformation of an industrial part of the city of Orléans (France) into a sub-urban area. Many factors were to be taken into consideration such as marrying public infrastructures (Sports & Conference Halls) with a practical & welcoming neighbourhood for residents.

As a digital designer, Sylvain has worked on projects that were targeting anything from a handful of users to a few thousand, in various industries, from finance to government to health & wellbeing. His current focus is on the Aged Care sector, designing solutions to provide better care for the aging population of Australia, covering all angles, from facility/workforce management to resident’s wellbeing and family member’s connection.

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

It’s a way to adapt our lives and needs to the environment we’re all part of. It follows our evolution as humans in technical and technological ways. The wishes and needs of our society are changing at a rapid rate. The infamous Sirius building in the district of The Rocks in Sydney is a perfect example of the evolution of the public’s perception of what “good” and “bad” architecture looks like. It’s a testament to the impact architects have on society and how we navigate in and outside of cities all around the world.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We both always had a strong interest in architecture and interior design and we’ve always bounced ideas back and forth about creative projects. The subject of the competition resonated with us. The problem and the city it was targeting was a perfect fit. Sylvain currently lives in Sydney and sees the issue first hand. That’s pretty much what everyone in their 30s in Sydney talks about.

Being able to combine our different skills and background to reach one outcome was an exciting exercise with a lot of unknown at first. Sylvain was data driven, and followed a standard design project methodology focused on the end-user and its environment. While Camille brought all the architecture knowledge and technical capabilities to be able to bring to paper what was in our heads.

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

To move forward, you have to work, it’s not a secret. We’ve met many people that wanted to take on a side project but struggled to find a subject to focus on. These competitions remove this first bump in the creative process. You get given a subject, some constraints and a timeframe, it doesn’t get much better than that to get your creative process going. If you just got out of school/Uni or are in between projects, it’s perfect to stay busy, build your portfolio and have fresh ideas to talk about while socialising.

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