Architecture competition "London Affordable Housing Challenge" 1st prize winner - Lianjie Wu

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the 1st prize of our “London Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Lianjie Wu from United Kingdom!

Lianjie Wu from United Kingdom

I recently graduated from Architecture, Part II, Bartlett School of Architectural, UCL and I am currently based in London. Educated in London, born in China and with previous working experience in Beijing, Shanghai and now, London, I have a diverse background in terms of the architectural culture and contexts. I have been involved in different stages of projects, from scheme design to delivery. The type of projects I got involved in includes public cultural buildings, residential developments, hotels etc.

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

I always feel architecture is such a big word since I started to study architecture. It is so complicated since it gets so many different disciplines involved, culture, history, structure, engineering, material, environment etc. I enjoy the design process and delivery process to make something from my drawings become reality and also learn about people, about the site, about the culture of that specific place from this process. Personally, I am not aiming for big dreams. To me, it’s more important what I, as an individual, can contribute, from the knowledge I have to my surroundings, to communities, to the people who I care about is always the priority. Even though it might be a tiny contribution, even though it might start with a small local group, I believe that’s the starting point of all young architects. One day the contribution could reach other communities all over the world who need us. That would be a long journey, and young architects are also preparing ourselves to reach that point.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Instead of living my own dream, I wish I could have the opportunity to present my schemes to the public, to people who are from different professions and different backgrounds, and to people who might really need that scheme to help them sort through the issues they have now. I wish I could have the opportunity to hear the voice from them, to receive all the comments and criticism from them, which is extremely essential to any architecture proposals. We are building for people.

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

Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone, to present projects and to embrace the criticism and to test if our proposed scheme is valuable or not. There is no answer like yes and no, nor right and wrong when we are talking about design. It’s all about better. Architecture vision competitions are definitely a great opportunity to push that ‘better’ scheme.

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