We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Student prize winner of our "Timber Pavilion" competition – Diego Sierra Mora from Mexico!

Diego Sierra Mora from Mexico!

I’m a Mexican architecture student, currently undertaking my eighth semester. I have participated in several architecture competitions with the main purpose of gaining experience and knowledge, having the fortune of winning some of them. I have built some small-scale social projects, and I’m currently participating with some colleagues in the construction of different freelance projects. I also work as a freelancer doing different style renders and illustrations.

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?

When it comes to architecture competitions or freelance projects, I am mainly focused on small to medium scale projects, because that way I can take the design to a higher level of detail; I like taking into consideration the resolution of both constructive and decorative aspects.

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

For me, architecture should be interdisciplinary matter, that has the main objective of resolving a specific problem, in the most efficient way. In this process, there should always be taken into consideration elements such as the site and its local materials, traditions, history, and socioeconomic conditions, among others. That said, the role of an architect should be focused on learning about all these different systems when approaching a project, to propose an informed and all-encompassing solution, instead of being an excuse for creating a showoff architecture that solves little or nothing of the actual social existing projects. Going deeper into this last topic, I think an architect has the duty to soak up of the atmosphere of the site and specially of the inhabitants or users of the projects, to design a space that fit them in the best way possible and prioritizing always their needs over personal aesthetic whims.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

I like to participate in architecture competitions for several reasons. The main one is to gain experience; I have found out that with every competition I enter, win or lose, my amount of knowledge and ability to solve different problems grows substantially, and the proof is that when I look back to the first competitions I participated in, I can clearly see how much I have improved, both in representation styles and quality, but also in the way I approach a new project, learning from my previous mistakes.

The second reason is because that I see competitions as an opportunity to let my imagination run free without the constraints that usually come with regular projects, so that way I’m able to design different spaces and atmospheres just having fun with it, and finally, the third reason is having the possibility to win the competition, and gaining all the benefits that come with that; it is not a matter of ego (although it feels great when u win one), but more because of the publications of your projects and the recognition that comes with that, which can have a really positive impact on your career and attract potential future clients.

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

I think that the struggle to decide whether to enter an architecture competition or not, comes from the fear of not winning, that’s why my advice for people who think that way, is that your main objective should not be winning, because it’s a fact that you will lose various competitions before winning one. Instead, you should focus on all the positive things that each competition will give u, such as all the experience and knowledge, and a huge personal and professional growth.

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