Paulo Vale Afonso

Paulo Vale Afonso, Portugal -

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1 – What is your office’s experience with architecture competitions? Is it something that you do on a regular basis? What are your motivations?

We have done a number of competitions but it is not something we do on a regular basis. In general, for our practice particularly, we have found that it is too much time consuming and it needs a lot of effort for established professionals, and it is sometimes effortless when competing against bigger firms that have bigger staff and means. Nevertheless, we consider architecture competitions extremely important, because they are an excellent opportunity to explore and research important architectural themes, and experiment and find innovative solutions, as well as a great opportunity, especially for smaller firms in the beginning of their career, to be part of significant projects and to provide equal opportunities to address important projects.

2 – And about architecture ideas competitions, where most of the times, it’s not about getting a commission for a something to be built?

As said before, it is an excellent tool to research architectural themes that are definitely important for both the discipline of architecture as well as for the offices and architects to develop their practice.

3-Do you think that is a challenge for architecture students or recent graduates only?

I think it is a challenge for every professional that is interested in architecture as a spatial practice, and therefore as well for students to develop and experiment their knowledge.