We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winners of our "Sansusī Forest Food Court" competition – Laura India Garinois and Liam Martin from United States!

2nd prize winners from United States

Liam and Laura-India both received their Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. While at Cornell, Liam was a Martin Tang Fellow for community development work in Honduras, and Laura-India received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal for her undergraduate thesis. Currently, Liam Martin is an Associate at COOKFOX Architects in New York, and Laura-India is pursuing a Master of Science in Architectural Studies at MIT.

Their shared practice Superinfra emerged gradually from a mutual devotion to careful study, experimentation, and a shared desire to develop a design practice which promotes social and ecological integrity at all scales. Since 2015, Superinfra has earned numerous honours for their work, which includes award-winning competition entries, built projects, publications, and ongoing research.

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?

We prefer a multi-scalar approach, having worked on private homes, pavilions, purely representational projects, graphic design, textiles and research. Much of our research focuses on the relationships between soft infrastructure and territory, examining in particular the role of communications technology as a catalyst of spatial reorganisation. Our first fabricated project was a collaboration with STUFFgroup in Winnipeg for a public bench installation in 2016. This was an incredible opportunity to learn the significance of cooperation, crafting and implementing a design narrative, and responsibly tracking the lifespan of materials into their next phase - these principles remain fundamental to our practice at any scale.

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

Our education and professional experiences have affirmed our appreciation for architecture’s capacity for storytelling, and equally our responsibility to engage in our work thoughtfully and with consideration for its social and material implications. We strongly believe in collaboration because it allows us to create work that is greater than ourselves and our individual abilities, and architecture is just one creative framework which enables this curiosity-driven process.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions? 

During our time as undergraduate students, participating in architecture competitions enabled us to immerse ourselves in the design world and develop valuable skills in collaboration, time management, and graphic representation. To this day, we continue to enter architecture competitions as a means of exploring experimental and unconventional design. Above all, these competitions bring us immense enjoyment. The opportunity to select from a diverse range of prompts and sites ensures that we are always able to undertake projects that inspire and challenge us.

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

Architecture competitions are an investment of both time and money. However, you are ultimately investing in yourself or your practice, and the return may not always be a prize we sometimes use a competition as a laboratory to study ideas we are working out. Every competition we have participated in has been a valuable learning experience, providing us with new knowledge and insights that have played a significant role in our growth as architects and collaborators. We learned over time that our failures in certain architectural competitions have proven to be the most influential lessons. Our advice is to persevere and continue participating, even if you encounter setbacks or disappointments along the way.

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