We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Vale De Moses Meditation Cabins” competition - Gianluigi D'Aloisio, Maria Pachi and Daniele Colombati from the United Kingdom.

Gianluigi D'Aloisio, Maria Pachi and Daniele Colombati 

We are three friends all coming from different cities and backgrounds in architecture, but sharing the same strong passion for design!

Gianluigi is a qualified Architect, with over 4 years of experience in the architectural profession. He graduated from Politecnico of Milan. During his studies, he had fruitful experiences at David Chipperfield in Milan and COBE in Copenhagen. Following his graduation, he worked at Peter Pichler Architecture in Milan, where he worked on a wide range of projects, from small scale exhibition pavilion to urban development in China. He currently works at Grimshaw, London: he is working as an architect on several infrastructural and architectural projects.

Maria received her Diploma in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens in 2014. She also studied architecture in ENSAPLV (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris la Villette) as an ERASMUS exchange student, and she finished her post-graduate studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture in ETH Zurich. She has worked in architectural firms in Athens and Berlin. Currently, she is working in the LAVA Architects firm, being the project architect of the Dubai EXPO 2020 Campus Germany Pavilion.

Daniele is a qualified building engineer, with over 5 years of experience in the architectural profession. Over the past years, he has joined GG-Loop and Peter Pichler Architecture where he managed projects on different scales, ranging from residential buildings to industrial design. During his working experience, he has had the possibility to work on projects focusing on timber structures, from concept to construction with a goal to create viable, sustainable architecture. He has a strong passion for computation and digital fabrication.

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?

All team members have participated in a variety of projects of different scales and content. From large building complexes, infrastructure and city design to exhibition pavilions and interior design, all projects served as a source of inspiration and skill sharpening for all of us. What intrigues us the most, however, are smaller scale projects, articulated structures in simple or more complex geometries that demand a computational form finding and joint solving, as well as sustainable architectural processes. We are craft-enthusiasts - some of us focusing on furniture design as well - and we believe in the importance of delivering an innovative design which is easy to build.

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

For us, architecture works primarily as a channel through which we can stream our creativity and ideas of innovative forms, spaces, societies or ways of living – it is a way of self- expression. However, we belong to a dynamic society where political and social relationships are constantly changing, where environmental alert is becoming more and more prominent, and cultures are being reshaped. In such a developing environment, architecture works as a filter that receives all these stimuli and transforms them to shape. This shape has so many potentials in all different scales: it can raise public awareness, suggest a new cultural paradigm or, at its simplest and most essential role, it can be a ‘vessel of life’. Therefore, an architect has to be a thorough society observer and an open-minded listener. In this way, he can transform people’s needs, problems and dreams into an architecture that can shape a better future.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Making the decision to participate in a competition is definitely a commitment, since it requires hard work, quick and efficient decision - making, and its also brings a significant level of stress.

On the other hand, participating in a competition is something that we are all very keen on, since it is a great opportunity to work together and develop a design of our own through research and an exchange of ideas. In particular, researching is a quite important aspect for us because we learn more about contemporary state-of-the-art developments and breakthroughs in technology, we explore the history, culture and architecture practices of different places, thus getting inspired in new unique ways. At the same time, we challenge our skills not only in design, but in problem-solving and illustration/graphics, too. Finally, managing to submit a final result that is solely based on personal work and effort is directly connected to the greatest reward that a competition can offer: the sentiment of fulfillment and happiness of achieving a goal!

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

We believe that, as creative minds, architects – whether they are still students or professionals - love to research, develop their skills and knowledge and seek to keep up with innovative practices in all design and technology fields. Being part of such a competition is a very successful way of challenging yourself through designing in different building scales, troubleshooting multiple issues and, in the end, delivering a compact result that depends entirely on the participant’s effort, taste, discipline, and creativity. At the same time, in such a context it is great to see how other people think on the same topic, what could be a different, maybe more efficient, approach, and learn from each other. Therefore, we really encourage people to join in such initiatives, as we see them as a chance of self-improvement and boosting creativity!

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