How Crowdsourcing is Changing Architects’ Job: Interview with CoContest’s top architects and designers.
Thomas and Marco both graduated from La Sapienza – Valle Giulia University in Rome where they both studied in the faculty of architecture. While Thomas’s course concentrated more on the graphic side of architecture, Marco undertook a standard course.
On completing their tertiary education they both worked in the architecture field for several years and in 2013 they met while sitting the state exam to become officially registered architects. Soon after passing the exam, they joined forces in refurbishing an apartment in Rome which was the start of a good working relationship and eventually led to the institution of 02A Studio now located in the very centre of Rome.
How long have you been an architect/ designer for?
We have been working as architects for 02A for the last year.
Before this, we both worked in the architecture field for about five years.
Do you like how CoContest works? What would you improve?
Yes we do, even if there are a few things that should be modified in our opinion. Above all the prizes are far too low and the costs and benefits are all to the advantage of the client. You should make sure that contestants send in ONLY the work that is required and no more. For example, if the competition requires 4 renders then you must not except more then 4 renders (of good quality), otherwise there is the risk of devaluing our profession as architects.
Do you think CoContest can help developing the architectural market?
Yes, it is a great tool that helps to connect architects and clients directly, at little cost (too little at the moment). We think that cocontest can make architecture accessible to everybody.
Have you always wanted to be an architect/designer?
The desire to work in the architecture field developed gradually over the years.
How do you imagine the architectural market in 10 years from now and how do you think internet can change it?
We imagine the market will be more or less what it is like today. The personal relationship between client and architect will still be of the utmost importance, however the internet will help people realize that architecture is in fact necessary.
What convinces you to take part to a contest?
It depends. We are particularly interested in contests where the client lives in our same city, because winning is more likely to lead to direct contact with the client. In general, after winning a contest, the client is often interested in contacting the winners , not only out of curiosity, but especially because they require more detailed advice on the project. In our case it happened that after winning contests (also in other cities) we got extra work from the clients and this is one of the obvious potentials of this platform: to create further work opportunities.
What makes your style unique?
As we believe that even the smallest detail is important, we dedicate close attention to every single component of the project from floor tiles to roof tiles while keeping in mind the particular requests of the client.
What don’t you like in a contest and discourages your participation?
If the client’s requests do not coincide with our taste, if the project description is unclear, if we notice that the client is unwilling to give necessary clarification and extra information about the project, we do not take part in the contest.
Among the projects realized by other architects on CoContest, which did you like the most?
We did see a few interesting projects but we didn’t really focus on who created them.