Architecture competition Amber Road Trekking Cabin Honorable mention - OCAD University

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “Amber Road Trekking Cabin” competition -Shahrzad Nasiri and Ben Chang from Canada!

Shahrzad Nasiri and Ben Chang from Canada

Shahzard Nasiri studied at OCAD University and recently graduated from the Environmental Design program. Studying Environmental Design allowed her to explore boundaries of form and structure, combining ecological holistic design with organic originality. She has the skill to design and build sculptures and furniture with wood in different scales, as well as experience working with various different materials.

Ben Chang is a designer from Toronto, Canada. He is a recent graduate from OCAD University with an academic background in Environmental Design. His research focuses on the physical and metaphysical experience of spaces and the world at large. As a designer and multimedia artist, his works are driven by the phenomenology of architecture and the ontology of the human experience.

Over the past two years, Shahzard Nasiri and Ben Chang have participated in various architecture and design competitions. In 2016, their pavilion design was awarded second place at the Sukkahville Design Competition hosted at Toronto, Canada’s Design Exchange Museum. Shahzard Nasiri was commission for the Meshup Clarks 2016 for a wooden shoe installation which is now located at Clark’s American headquarter in Boston. Ben Chang’s design was a finalist in the UIA-HYP International Competition 2016 juried by Bernard Tschumi. At the OCAD University Graduation Exhibition 2017, Shahzard received the Medal Winner Award with the top thesis project of the year in researching and designing an infrastructure as a responsive ecofilter. In the summer of 2017, Shahzard and Ben both graduated from OCAD University and shared the Joan Burt Architect Award as the top graduating students from the Environmental Design Program. In the 2017 Kunle Adeyemi Water and Cities competition, their design was awarded first place. Shahzard and Ben are both currently working as Teaching Assistants for the Environmental Design program at OCAD University.

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

Architecture is the art of designing spaces and creating connections between human necessity and serenity, but it is also much more than that. It is a fundamental connection to our surroundings and to our environment. Architecture is the agent of social and ecological transformation. The role of an architect is to be aware of the challenges of today, and through architecture, design the solutions of tomorrow.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Architecture vision competitions allows participants to push the limits of their ideas. It educates designers to deal with different ecological and social problems through architecture. It is a learning process of framing complications and devising good solutions. Experience from competitions help us grow as designers, in the words of Frank Lloyd Wright “talent is good, practice is better, passion is best.”

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

There is a lot to gain and nothing to lose from architecture vision competitions. Choosing the right competition is very important. By participating, you gain the opportunity to find design solutions that you wouldn’t come across otherwise.

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