We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Sansusī Forest Food Court" competition – Alexander Topilin and Kristián Vnučko from Slovakia!

Honorable mention winners from Slovakia

Alexander Topilin and Kristián Vnučko currently work as freelance architects and graphic designers.

Alexander is a co-founder and active member of the Hlava5 association, which is devoted to the mapping, protection and popularization of fine art in public space, created in the second half of the 20th century. Alexander is a freelance designer and architect based in Trenčín (Slovakia).

Kristián is a freelance architect, product designer and graphic designer. As a dedicated enthusiast and researcher in the field of postdigital architecture and design, most of his conceptual work speaks to the viewer/interactor in terms of the meta-language of the project; it tells the outer world the meaning beyond the bearing walls, doors and plaster.

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?

Alexander and Hlava5 organization has a wide portfolio of projects ranging from revitalisation of sculptures in public space, academic research and strategic planning, organizing international conference or being part of Zlín design week 2019 or Venice Biennial Architecture Exhibition European Cultural Center in 2021. Alexander, as a core team member for artistic and cultural content, participated on the winning bidding proposal for the European Capital of Culture title for Trenčín 2026. He is a graphic designer and co-organizer of a popular multidisciplinary community festival Priestor.

Kristián is an active architect, currently based in Prague (Czechia), shifting between environments after several years of practice in Slovakia. In his college years he has enriched his abilities through various workshops, competitions and lectures, e.g. through a successful workshop and installation for the Venice Architecture Biennale, Edition Fundamentals in 2014. After his graduation in 2018 he attended numerous international (theoretical and practical) workshops, among others Mood for Wood, the Periferica Festival on Sicily and an evocative workshop in Monesiglio (Italy) in cooperation with the renowned False Mirror Office.

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

As an architect (designer, urbanist etc.) you are able to open various subchannels to the people you are interacting with.

We can tell different “stories” through drawings, help to develop the very base of our existence in a spectrum of planes, speak to others in the language of “Architecture”, where the interpretation and the depiction of the data can take endless forms, creating unique environments differing from each other.

We must cherish every small move. Our goal is, among many others, to evoke any kind of reaction, limitless in nature. It is an essential tool for an architect to understand and utilize the range of emotions of other human beings (and nature in general); it chisels the creation closer and closer to relative perfection.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

To join any type of competition, it takes courage and devotion. Competitions interfere with our core ideas, needs, and messages we want to convey. They provide an opportunity to explore new paths and discover potential solutions for the "real" world. Competitions challenge us to constantly push ourselves and reach new heights with each step we take. Needless to say, they help develop and refine our raw qualities.

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

Participation in architecture competitions is a great opportunity to showcase and confront your set of skills and ideas on an international level. It's an opportunity to reach out to your specific audience and potential clients.

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