Architecture competition Modern Collective Living Challenge Honorable mention - Columbia University GSAPP

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “Modern Collective Living Challenge” competition -  Tien Chen from United States!

Tien Chen from United States

I am a New York City-based architecture student and designer. I am currently in my final year of M.Arch at Columbia GSAPP. I graduated Princeton University’s undergraduate architecture program in 2014 and have a deep passion for art, architecture, and design.

As an independent design builder, I have completed some small scale projects around New York while completing my M.Arch. With a friend, I established the Instagram based design brand INSTABUILD in 2017. Under that moniker, we opened a food stand at Dekalb Market Hall, contributed to Brooklyn art shows, and designed furniture (@insta.bld on instagram).

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

For me architecture means the experimentation and expression of ideas surrounding culture, society, technology through “built” mediums. The architect’s role, therefore, is to make possible built (and unbuilt) projects that help our society reflect, remember, and imagine.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

I participate in architecture vision competitions to challenge myself as a designer and thinker. On another level, I do so in order to join conversations about what is possible through architecture and learn from the international architectural community.

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

My advice is to preserve all your old design projects and ideas and consider revisiting old ideas for future competitions. It’s less daunting joining an ideas competition with something you’ve been sitting with for a few months - or years. 

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