Architecture competition "Nemrut Volcano Eyes" 2nd prize winners - Keremcan Kirilmaz and Erdem Batirbek

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the 2nd prize of our “Nemrut Volcano Eyes” competition - Keremcan Kirilmaz and Erdem Batirbek from Turkey!

Keremcan Kirilmaz and Erdem Batirbek from Turkey

We are an interdisciplinary design duo comprising of an architect (Keremcan Kırılmaz) and a product designer (Erdem Batırbek). Back in 1997, we became friends in middle school and started our creative journey by making funny videos, janky sci-fi animations and comics for fun. We also entered art and design competitions together, while we were school kids; and continued to do so in our university years and after.

Keremcan Kırılmaz studied Architecture in Izmir Institute of Technology and got his Master’s degree in Design at Izmir University of Economics afterwards, both located in Izmir, Turkey. He studied sustainable building assessment tools (LEED, Green Star, CASBEE, BREEAM, HQE, etc) in his master’s thesis.

Erdem Batırbek studied Industrial Design in Izmir University of Economics, then received his Master’s in Car & Transportation Design at Domus Academy in Milano, Italy.

We work in different design areas, but every now and then, we get together for design competitions and freelance projects.

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 interdisciplinary design dynamic is the source of our design perspective. For over a decade, together we entered many national and international competitions; some of which we were shortlisted and awarded. The scale of our projects comprises from small scale landscape designs, to large scale high-rise buildings, bridges and urban development plans. Besides our architecture projects, we also created industrial and graphic design projects, too.

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

From our point of view, architecture is the combination of comprehensive understanding for our existent space/time and the will to dream/foresee new boundaries for them. Our design vision focuses on dealing with these concepts and infusing them as part of our design process. Although architects do not have an active role in our country for the past years, we and a few other like-minded design colleagues aim to improve our architect-designer ecosystem through qualified projects.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

It is a refreshing exercise and an escape from our everyday works. Generally, we get to design things that we do not regularly have a chance to design – sometimes for places and users we do not get to think about. It is a rewarding opportunity to face a challenge and develop new design perspectives as a result.

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

Just go for it! It is a change of pace from regular work or studies. It forces you to think different and gives you a new perspective. We personally gain new experience from every competition we enter, that we can utilize at our working projects, too. Experience in these kinds of architectural competitions, even if it results in failure or incompletion, are invaluable assets for the designers.

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