We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Honorable mention winners of our The Legendary Highway 14 Tower competition – Isaiah Scharen and Maura Mcdaniel from United States!

Isaiah Scharen and Maura Mcdaniel

Please tell us about your company (when it was founded, where it is based, how many employees, etc) Alternatively, if you do not have a company, please give us some insights on your own professional/academia background.

Maura McDaniel and Isaiah Scharen are a design duo based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Maura received her B.S. in Architecture from the University of Minnesota and went on to pursue her Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Isaiah Scharen earned a degree in Studio Art at St. Olaf College, and continued pursuing his passion of materials and space by earning his Masters of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.

Maura and Isaiah have been informal collaborators in each others work since 2018, and are currently in the process of building a practice of collaborative projects.

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?

Isaiah has pursued residential architecture with a focus on small living and urban densification, primarily designing ADU’s. Maura has worked on a variety of public projects with a focus on building environmentally and culturally conscious public spaces. As a collaboration, they are mostly focused on small to medium scale design intervention. They strive to bring together the beauty and sensuality of the natural world into dialogue with the material and cultural language of the designed world we occupy day to day.

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

Architecture is designing a choreography of materials, both natural and artificial. The role of the designer is to approach this practice with a sensitivity and an awareness of the environmental, cultural, and aesthetic implications of their work.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

For us, architecture competitions are a way to work on a project without the constraints or limitations that are often present in a profession setting, which allows us to push and expand the ways we are thinking and making.

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

We would say that designers should have space in their lives for creativity and play in their work, and if the structure of a competition allows you to do that, then it is worth participating.

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