VOF Norway winner's interview

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13 February, 2019
VOF Norway winner's interview

Today we interview Paulina Peña, winner of the Viewpoint of the Fjords (VOF) Norway international architecture competition.

 

1.- Why did you decide to participate in the competition Viewpoint of the Fjords (VOF) Norway?

Since I was a student, I’ve always admired Arquideas’ platform.  For me, it represents innovation: it appreciates the radicalness of the participant in the proposals. In other words, it values different ways of approaching issues and dealing with them.

I liked the context in which the proposal takes place -a natural and amazing landscape like the Fjords. A challenge where architecture-landscape-history are connected, in which we prove our skills to connect the site’s particular environment in a process of adaptation.

A competition of ideas allows us to go beyond all limits, break the rules and let ourselves go, express our ideas using architecture.

I’ve had the opportunity of participating in various competitions with positive results: Selection for Unidad Digital Campo Baeza, ETSAM Spain 2015; Selection for Prize Abraham Zabludovsky 2016, UNAM Mexico; XXXIII National Prize for Architectural Composition Alberto J.  Pani 2017 Mexico; First Edition Prize Félix Candela 2018 Spain-Mexico, Participation TurinCall, Start for talents 2019 with Alain Redon, Italy.

My next goal is to participate in Kaira Looro Competition: Peace Pavilion in Africa.

 

2.- Briefly explain your proposal that won First Prize. Would you like it to become a reality?

Being this a competition of ideas, it would be awesome to see it becoming a reality. Besides, what would a world be without crazy ideas? That’s why architecture is our tool to transform concept into reality, into something tangible where we all could live and enjoy the space.

Underlook comes up with a new vision which is immersed in the liquid world. It creates an overlook under the unknown, where water allows you to have a scenography full of contrasts.

Underlook dares to immerse in the fjord to have a visual continuity of “The Seven Sisters” waterfall, whose path is framed by the typical landscapes of Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord.

Underlook is a new space for contemplation in “The Land of the Midnight Sun”.

 

3.- What is your opinion on architectural education in your country? How could it be improved in relation to the professional field?

Irrespective of the country or nationality, I think that when you study architecture you commit not only to yourself but to the people that will inhabit the place to coming up with the best solution for a given situation.

I studied at UNAM - Faculty or Architecture, Mexico, and I had the opportunity to go on an exchange program to ETSAM Madrid for a year. Both institutions deal with the issue differently, both have different goals but we all coincide in what Architecture means.

During my education, I developed this energy to see beyond what was around me and fill me up on diverse knowledge. It’s not the place where you studied, but your experiences, that define your education.

We all practice our technique and the art of designing since we draw our first line on paper, we all have one common goal: to make Architecture. People with the best marks are those that have a clear purpose: become their own quality standard. No one is going to tell you how to do things, it’s all about your interest in such things.

Last, the way to get better on the professional field is up to you, you have to be the change you want to see in the world.

 

4.- How are you going to approach your future career?

When you dream, you dream big, your mind projects more than necessary.

I would like to express poetically what I think, by quoting a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros located along the Rectorate building of the UNAM: “The people to the university, the university to the people”. It depicts a group of university students leaving this institution to deliver and return their knowledge to the people.

Concerning my future career, I guarantee that my future work will answer to ethical, moral and conscious reasons. One must be productive rather than busy.

 

5.- And finally, tell us about your experience with Arquideas.

It’s awesome to have platforms like Arquideas that using competitions of ideas, connect and publicise new talents. It’s a unique way to express yourself and be heard. In competitions, you test all your skills and knowledge in a challenge where you don’t know your rival, but in the end, you may have feedback at an international level.

Even during this experience, you learn to be loyal to what you think and want, to have a clear mind for knowing what your goal is and what you want to achieve. “He who perseveres, conquers”, we say in Mexico. Even more if you’re loyal and happy with what you do, no matter other opinions, you will have excellent results.

Every experience is unique and we must learn as well as possible from them. It’s a lesson for all of us young architects.

Thank you.