We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winners of our “Vale De Moses Meditation Cabins” competition - Ying Qi Chen and Fui Srivikorn from the United States!

Ying Qi Chen and Fui Srivikorn

F.A.Q (‘Frequently Asked Questions’ or ‘Fui and Qi’) is a duo from Los Angeles, interested in playful architecture that experiments with alternative forms of affordable construction. Through their collaboration, they merge together their personal interests while reinterpreting standard design conventions and building methods.

Ying Qi Chen is an architectural designer with an interest in creating affordable designs by aestheticizing performative construction elements. She has previously collaborated with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DSR), and Philip Beesley Architects. She received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and is a recipient of the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Thesis Prize, as well as The Henry Adams A.I.A Certificate. She currently lives in Los Angeles and works at Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects.

Fui Srivikorn is a designer interested in social architecture that impacts the interaction between people and their environment. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California and received the Moving Image Thesis Award. He currently works at Brooks + Scarpa Architects in Los Angeles, focusing on affordable housing projects that empower people through design.

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?

Ying Qi Chen designed a public pavilion in New York that was scheduled to open in June 2020 but has been delayed until public gathering restrictions ease. As the winning entry of The City of Dreams Pavilion Competition hosted by FIGMENT, her team’s design experimented with the idea of constructing standardized air-based building modules. The pavilion is set to host a variety of communal activities on Roosevelt Island, such as musical performances, public events, and summer picnics. In addition, Qi has worked on several affordable housing projects in Los Angeles and is interested in developing a systemic approach to affordable construction and ownership.

Fui Srivikorn has primarily worked on affordable housing and mixed-use projects at his firm. Through his personal design exploration, he has focused on how spaces and objects are experienced through movement and light. At his company, he has a keen interest in details and how design is perceived at the human scale.

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

Architecture can shape behaviour by using space to manipulate the way we interact with each other and our context. As architects, we are expected to perform our duties as a service profession and, more often than not, turn a profit for developers. We wait for someone to approach us and then we seek permission to reify designs. This passive model of building limits the exploration of space as an agent for social change. Instead, we aim to challenge this convention through self-initiated projects that enable architects to establish a new position on affordable ownership and operation.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We participate in architecture vision competitions as a means for unconstrained design exploration. These competitions allow us to dive into our own interests in architecture, space, and construction without the usual limitations of a standard project structure.

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

Architecture vision competitions let us explore concepts and develop our own voice in design. The wide variety in scale and function give us the opportunity to solve different problems within the field. As young professionals, we must seek methods to hone our personal interests and design sensibility, and these competitions are one of them.

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