2020 MONUMENT: Meet the Winners and Hounourable Mentions!
by Anne Ma & Tara Marchelewicz
While both of us hailed from Toronto, Canada, we never actually crossed paths until graduate school at Yale University where we smiled at each other in passing through the corridors of Rudolph Hall. Fate has a surprising way of bringing people together, and as it was, we ended up re-connecting when we both came back to Toronto to work at the same firm. Once the pandemic hit and we were all relocated to working in the safety of our homes, thriving as introverts, we had started communicating more over chat.
Enter 2020 Monument, the latest in nonarchitecture’s series of competitions literally addressing the pandemic as we were experiencing it. The brief spoke to us as it allowed us to think beyond the place of isolation we were in and how we could address it through design. The single image and representation of our idea was both the challenge and success of our project as we could present, with more impact, what our ‘monument’ means to the community and to the world. We hope everyone can enjoy the light-hearted yet grounded take on a Monument for the pandemic world. Perhaps you will see NoMo float by your window someday.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Reclaiming Parliament
by Pranav Thole & Anandita Rangarajan
ANANDITA AYESHA RANGARAJAN
Anandita Ayesha Rangarajan is a final year student at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai. She was an intern at the Pritzker winning RCR Arquitectes, Spain in 2019. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate thesis which deals with ideas of social exclusion and its effects on the urban fabric. She is interested in understanding discriminatory urban practices that lead to ghettoisation in cities and methods to create more inclusive spaces through the agency of architecture.
Pranav Thole is a graduate of Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai. After graduating in 2017, he has worked at Flying Elephant Studio, Bangalore and Sameep Padora and Associates, Mumbai. He was an intern at Junya Ishigami, Tokyo in 2016. He has also completed a fellowship at the Young Leaders Active Citizenship and was involved with drafting policy briefs. He is interested in questions of power and spatial politics, and the role of architecture in creating a democratic environment.
Non-Architecture provided us with a wonderful platform through their 2020 Monument competition. It allowed us to explore methods of conveying an argument through the means of a single drawing. Limited use of text as well as a challenge that required more emphasis on visual representation. The position taken reflects ideas that we feel are important today and we are honoured to have been recognised for the same.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Memory Lane
by Lena Ma
Hello! My name is Lena Ma and I am a 4th-year student at Ryerson University’s Architectural Science program in Canada. I am curious about the world and love dreaming about whimsical fantasies in my designs. When I am not in the design studio, I love drinking bubble tea, relaxing with turtles, and reading philosophies.
The 2020 Monument competition was completed with the guidance of Professor Vincent Hui at Ryerson University. The open nature of the guidelines allowed for a design spirit that mediates pressing issues of the sustainability of western cemeteries and society’s stigma of the dead. The love and encouragement of radical and beautiful designs from Non Architecture competitions allowed me to develop an urban agricultural system that is self-regenerating and rich in community networking, while allowing the dead and the living to develop a symbiotic relationship. I hope the future of the world is as accepting in my future endeavours as a designer and pursuit to become an architect.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Power of Smallness
by Kate Lim Wei Rong & Clara Fung
After nights of video calls and synchronized online sketching sessions, this competition became a new form of connection for the two of us – a model for future collaborations.
Confronted by geographical distance (Kate in Singapore and Clara in Hong Kong), we were forced to evaluate conventional models of working which we were used to. It became a rigorous and illuminating process for us to knit our ideas through glitching wifi whilst continuously experimenting with creative ways and mediums to lay out our ideas clearly for one another to understand.
The long-distance video calls conferences dissolved and reassembled our understanding of each other. The process was frustratingly honest yet extremely refreshing to confront our comfort zones and biases. We are appreciative of this collaborative experience.
HONOURABLE MENTION: burying the monument
by Lino Gasparitsch and Bettina Willnauer
Easycenter.eu is focusing on the intersection of physical as well as virtual spaces. Our outcome is defined by a conceptual approach.
The group functions as a research facility to explore various methods of expression, such as Scenography, 3D, as well as Set Design. Included are all thoughts and actions from planning to implementation. After studying Graphic Design in Copenhagen & Vienna and Interior Architecture in Detmold & Stuttgart, Bettina and Lino teamed up to combine their disciplines to work on multidisciplinary projects in the intersection of art, design and architecture. Both are now living and working in Vienna, Austria.
HONOURABLE MENTION: WE CAN’T FORGET
by Jingyuan Li, Xiaoyao Luo & Shengxiang Huang
Jingyuan is a graduate student from Columbia GSAPP and works based in Beijing. Regarding architecture as the mediator that organize relationships between city and people, she always believes the power of specific spaces that can change the society and the world.
Xiaoyao is an undergraduate from Central South University majoring in architecture, whose interests in the social and cultural cracks in China these years and she tries utmost to figure out how to fill the gap from an architectural perspective and in a way of humanity.
Shengxiang is a baby architect who graduated from Hunan City University. He is confused about the real value of architecture and tries to find the practical meaning of architecture from the social and humanistic level.
How was participating in the 2020 monument?
In the process of repeatedly questioning the meaning of the monument, we always fell into deeper doubts. Today, what kind of things are meant to commemorate? What kind of memorial medium is meaningful? Once we lost in the grand heroic history of the past, until one day three of us were touched by a news on Chinese social media that a graduate student of Dalian University of Technology committed suicide. It soon sparked heated discussions on society. As the feeling of empathizing with him turning to more events on the Internet that also arouse our thought reflection, we realize that the value of the current “monument” should be transferred back to the meaning of “memorial” in this information era. And the power of materiality should be continued and acted as a very important role of social enlightenment.
HONOURABLE MENTION: The Floating Forest
by Ottavia Boletto & Meghan Mahoney
Originally from Italy, Ottavia Boletto moved to the U.S. to pursue her Architecture degree from Cornell University. Now graduated, she is working in an architecture firm in California, and is interested in the more conceptual aspects of design and in architectural writing.
Meghan Mahoney received her B.Arch from Cornell University in May 2020. Originally from California, she is starting her architectural career in San Francisco, and is interested in the intersection of architecture, art, and aesthetics.
Together, they are working to form a design collaborative called Studio Sun which will address both their interests.
HONOURABLE MENTION: 2020NONmonument
by Federica Mambrini & Simona Capaldo
We are Federica and Simona, two Italian architecture students from different backgrounds. Indeed Federica attends Polytechnic of Milan while Simona is a student of Università Federico di Napoli. We met in 2019 in Milan, a city full of suggestions and cultural fervour. Our critical approach in conceiving architecture was the basis to forge a deep and sincere friendship. A friendship animated by countless reflections and debates (not always peaceful) on the complexity and contradictions that characterize architecture, the charm of utopia, and the transience and imperfection of the places we live in. The curiosity to realize our ideas within an architectural project, bringing our worlds closer has prompted us to test ourselves by participating in a competition. We found ourselves in agreement in the choice of Non Architecture as it allows participants to experiment with their creativity going beyond the mould by overcoming their specific skills. Furthermore, the international dimension of the platform offers several interesting ideas both from a conceptual and a graphic point of view. Participating in this competition was an experience that enriched us, prompting us to reflect on both project ideation and its communication.
We can’t wait to participate in another Non Architecture competition, see you soon!