We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winners of our "Virtual Home" competition – Ipek Duzova, Ertug Erpek and Kaya Emre Gonencen from Turkey!

2nd prize winners from Turkey

We completed our B.Arch degrees in 2021 in Ankara, Turkey, and we met during our undergraduate education. Ipek graduated from Bilkent University, and she will be starting her Master's degree this September, at the Architectural Association in London. Ertug and Emre graduated from METU, and they are currently pursuing their Master's degrees here, while also working as research assistants.

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?

This is the first project we carried out together, however, we had all participated in (and won) different competitions previously. The previous projects we worked on are mostly university projects on multiple scales in addition to competition entries and projects carried out during internships.

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

Architecture is closely intertwined with life itself, and life is constantly changing and evolving. For instance, we are living in an era in which the metaverse and virtual environments are gaining significance, and as young architects, we are attempting to keep up with that. Therefore, we believe the role of an architect is to be responsive to present-day problems, changes, developments, and paradigms to utilize architecture in a conscious way as a tool influencing life and society.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We believe participating in architecture competitions is a great way to challenge yourself to find innovative and creative solutions to design problems. For this specific competition, the chance to explore and play with a virtual environment was very exciting for us. We felt very "free" throughout the process since the scope of the competition allowed us to experiment with different elements and go beyond limits.

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

Don't be afraid of trying! Even though some competitions are very competitive and it is often very difficult to be one of the winners, participating in competitions will not only enhance your design capabilities but also improve your time management and teamwork skills. We believe a competition experience is very valuable, and it will definitely contribute positively to your future competition entries, and professional career.

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