We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Tokyo Urban Meditation Cabins" competition – Vlad Chabai from Netherlands!

Vlad Chabai from Netherlands

My passion on Architecture started already in the childhood. In 2017, I graduated from Architectural College in Minsk, Belarus and during that year, I started working in an architecture studio, as a junior designer. That included working on rendering,and soon I realised that my interest in architecture is not creating a beautiful presentation, but rather the process of designing and rethinking spaces. When I started to design them instead of rendering, I have been involved in almost all areas and scales of architecture, from residential architecture and interior design to large-scale urban planning. In 2021 I moved to Amsterdam to develop myself further as a professional.

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?

I enjoy of having diversity in my projects, it's useful to switch from interior design to, for example, parks planning. But the most enjoyable field is residential, commercial and large-scale architecture. In my projects, I always tend to work with the sculptural aspect of architecture.

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

For me, architecture is about people: their needs and desires. Psychology comes first while structures and materials always come second. Architect is a highly responsible position, quite often underestimated.

At the end of the day architects create spaces where we spend our lives and experience different events. The quality of architecture affects the mood of those experiences.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Sometimes in the capitalist world it’s hard to bring your own voice while working on commercial projects. We, architects are lucky that there are available competitions where we can express our creativity and leave the commercial boundaries behind. For me right now it is a perfect way to explore my limits in an international context. Starting from English architectural terminology to culture. For example, NO SIGNAL Meditation Cabins project was a fruitful experience of exploring Tokyo city life and culture.

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

You shouldn’t perceive competitions as a lottery where you can randomly win a prize. You need to see it as a creative challenge that helps you to find your interests and goals in architecture. This is an opportunity to not do conventionally “right” things, but rather experiment and play. Bring your extraordinary ideas to live. Just enjoy the process, imagine it’s a project where a client trusts you 100% and gives you full freedom. I also believe you can find like-minded people and follow their works.

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