We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of one of our Honorable mentions for the “Silent Meditation Forest Cabins” competition - Mandira Sareen from United States!

Mandira Sareen from United States

While in the midst of forming a company, Mandira’s professional and academic background is in fine arts, design and architecture. Working across disciplines and borders, having lived, studied, and worked in three continents – at present Washington DC in North America, previously in West Africa and North India. A process oriented practice, value for research, design, and fabrication with phenomenology and ecology at its core.

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 company/individuals have been involved?

Starting small and building on the ongoing trajectory, Mandira has exhibited and done works on commission as an artist, graphic designer and architectural/ interior designer/ intern. Now as a budding architect, one of the most recent projects has been researching, design and fabrication of ergonomic wood stools for aiding in contemplation using digital and analogue processes, traditional and contemporary means and methods.

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

Architecture to Mandira is a dance between the tectonics, and the poetics, a marriage if you will between the rational, and the intuitive. In the given time where a young architect is bombarded by the mainstream to become an icon, to let go of that image and rekindle the unknown craftsman way. Together with machine-craft and handcraft, making good design accessible to all.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

A shared vision, and a burning desire to design, and build what the architecture vision competitions are asking for from participants. For instance, Mandira has wanted to design and build a meditation cabin for a very long time. A prospective client with a site, a program of requirements with room for change, and a deadline challenges her out of her comfort zone to do it.

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

Genuinely embody, extend, embed and enact a shared vision for the long run, and not limited to the competition deadline. Sincerely focusing on the process of research, and design to enrich oneself and thereby another, not on winning the competition. A will to strive despite the challenges of the many unknowns of competition, as well as professional and personal as life happens.

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