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Post By Špela Tušar
on 08. May 2013

Jury members interview #1: Michael Stacey and Wojtek Nowak

MICHAEL STACEY

TUC: What are the advantages of Trimo Urban Crash competition?

M: The great advantage of the Trimo Urban Crash competition is that it is a student competition that is built. There is no other way of learning about tectonics and the assembly of architecture than making and constructing projects.
The other great strength of the competition is that it is truly International. I thought the moment when the countries of origin of the winners and commended projects was fantastic.

TUC: What benefits do you see that competition brings to the winner? (and to the public?)

M: As stated assembling architecture is essential to the education of architects and this has been neglected by too many schools of architecture for imagery and the virtual.
Winning a competition such as Trimo Urban Crash is career defining. I won my first competition I entered. It was Housing in Liverpool and Michael Hesltine then Margaret Thatcher's Environment minister want to build the project. The only problem was I was working for Norman Foster at the time.
I think the functional brief for the Cycle Hub is excellent and should contribute to people in Ljubljana very directly. I thought the students could have been more direct in the implementation of the brief and taken inspiration from bicycle technology.

TUC: What were you looking for in the projects?

M: Design excellence, buildablity and clarity of understanding of the brief. Site specific placement of prefabricated parts was also very important.
However I think the reference to containers limited the students imaginations. A container is such a strong figure or archetype.
Whereas Trimo has excellent flexible manufacturing capability in metal and glass. My recommendation for next years Trimo Urban Crash competition is that Trimo has excellent flexible manufacturing capability is articulated as a resource to the competition. Then even the students who do not win will have learnt some useful knowledge.

TUC: Are you familiar with Slovenian architecture?

M: The only Slovenian architects I was aware of from before my trip to Ljubljana were:
Jože Plečnik from his work in Prague which is much more tectonic, whereas in Ljubljana he is a masterful urbanist.

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WOJTEK NOWAK

TUC: What are the advantages of Trimo Urban Crash competition?

W: I guess the most recognizable thing about Trimo Urban Crash is of course the fact of realising the winning entry. For me that chance was the main reason to take part in the competition. Further development of realisation, and participating in workshops are also really rewarding. But contrary to most competitions, participating in TUC rewards participant with experiences from its very beginning. As the task is to design a project that is going to be build, participants has to set themselves in real location, and find a path to best design through much more limitations and challenges than conceptual competitions which are usually more open for interpretations of their tasks. Therefore for me and Nika producing a strategy, statement and working schemethat resulted a design that we both were satisfied with was already reward and gain of some "experience points"

TUC: What benefits do you see that competition brings to the winner? (and to the public?)

W: As the winners benefits were mentioned above, the public benefit is realisation of the projects. The topics of particular editions were aimed to serve public interest, therefore all in all after competition is done, the outcome of it serves local people. And its also additional opportunity for Ljubljana to host architectural influences from all over the world. This years entry will hopefully promote biking within city, and create a meeting place for cycling enthusiasts.

What do you look for in a project?

W: Among all the nice works I have found some really intriguing entries, Of course the project had to be able to serve public as bike base, however I cannot say that my top choices were similar. The one thing they had in common was that they tried to bring the values of biking into their spaces, like simplicity, openness, self-sufficiency so I guess these would be the main things. Ability to create public space was crucial as well, however, I have allowed both active and passive role of the bike base on given location.

How do you like Ljubljana? What impressed you and why?

W: I am really positive about Ljubljana, I have visited the city twice. I really like to compact size of the city, which makes communication around really easy, especially on bike. Tivoli gardens, Metelkova, city center, castle and marketplace - these places totaldifferent in appearance, atmosphere and function are in reach within minutes. All of it surrounded with beautiful mountains. Last but not least thinking of Ljubljana brings back memories of realisation of Life Stand.

Are you familiar with Slovenian architecture?

W: The names and work of Ofis Architekti, Bevk/Perovic are familiar to me from architecture websites, as well as designs of Nika Zupanc. Staying in Ljubljana is also a chance to see work of Joze Plecnik, so I guess I can say I have some basic knowledge of Slovenian architecture.

TUC 2013