Architecture competition "Iceland Northern Lights Rooms" Green prize winners - Chang Yuan Max Hsu and Hadeel Ayed Mohammad

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the Green prize of our “Iceland Northern Lights Rooms” competition - Chang Yuan Max Hsu and Hadeel Ayed Mohammad from United States!

Chang Yuan Max Hsu and Hadeel Ayed Mohammad from United States

Chang Yuan Max Hsu is currently a designer at the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism based in New York City, and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. He has previously worked at James Carpenter Design Associates (New York City, NY), SANAA (Tokyo, Japan), and Bing Thom Architects (Vancouver, Canada). He has received a Master’s of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania (2016), and a Bachelor’s of Environmental Design from the University of British Columbia (2012).

Hadeel Ayed Mohammad is an Architect and Fulbright Scholar from Jordan. She has worked at SHoP Architects (New York City, NY) , Ewing Cole (Philadelphia, PA), and Sahel Al-Hiyari Architects (Amman, Jordan). She received her Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Jordan (2013). She was later granted a Fulbright Scholarship in 2015 to pursue graduate studies in the US, where she attended the University of Pennsylvania, and received a Master’s of Architecture (2016).

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 company/ individuals have been involved?

Our combined experiences have ranged from pavilion designs to master planning, such as we do not see ourselves limited within the boundaries of any particular scale. Instead, we are interested in the investigation of all dynamic scales of influences that an ideology has on the built environment and the natural ecosystem. This can be adaptive qualities that are either informed by a social context, or a catalyst driving for positive change.

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

We take inspiration from Charles and Ray Eames’“Powers of Ten”, where different magnitudes of systems are interlocked with one another. The crucial part of our roles as designers is to understand, and carefully mediate between these domains in order to address different social/environmental issues. By doing so, we have the opportunity to reimagine the qualities of spatial conditions and their impact on the public realm and beyond. 

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Architecture competitions of this nature allow anyone to challenge, and provide a fresh approach to existing design dogmas. It is an incredible chance to step away from the conventional means of execution, and present a different perspective to a broader audience. It helps to facilitate the change in the profession through exposure and discussion, as well as one's own professional growth.

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

Competitions are time-consuming endeavors, and as such be specific about the ones you participate in. Find what inspires you about a particular topic, and then follow your passion. This process has a way of allowing us to find our voices within the realm of design. We define our visions, and then re-discover it amongst the projects of our peers. The experience, though taxing, is an enriching one, and it opens up a chance to test innovation before application in the field of practice. We strongly believe that it can benefit enthusiasts who strive for professional development, while building upon the networks of critical thinkers around the world.

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