Interview with CoContest’s top designers and architects.
LDA+A Architecture and Art is an international studio based in Novi Sad, Serbia, and comprised of designers Luka Ljumović and Dorotea Redzek. Dorotea is a student in her final year of Architecture Studies, working in her hometown of Novi Sad and Luka is a post graduate student hailing from Podogorica, Montenegro. After working together on a project for their “Ephemeral Architecture” course, they discovered similarities between their individual styles, both implementing “architectural and artistic aspects” into their work, as well as their life experiences.
1. Tell us about your design career.
Dorotea: My design career is still in its very beginning. I based in freelancing because I see it as a great opportunity to do what I like and to express all the ideas I have while working with various clients in interesting and diverse projects.
Luka: My career unofficially started 3 years ago when I was involved in teachings at the Faculty of Technical Sciences. I was a mentor in several courses which were mainly about architectural design. Less than one year ago I started working in an architecture studio in Novi Sad. Throughout these couple of years I worked on many projects and during last seven months I have decided to try freelancing myself. So, recently Dorotea and I decided to create a virtual architecture studio called “LDA+A” and here we are.
2. What inspired you to become an architect?
Dorotea: Since my early childhood I remember being deeply interested in aesthetic values of space that I was surrounded by.
Luka: Well, I have really hard time explaining that even to myself, but let’s just say that I have always wanted to be involved in the process of designing and creation and architecture seems to be the perfect field for that.
3. What inspires you as an architect? Are there any designers/firms you look up to? Any artist or publications that you draw ideas from?
Dorotea: We are inspired by initial terms and requirements of every single project and by these requirements we mean the client’s needs—urbanistic or previous architectural condition, etc. Work is our inspiration, every new iteration of a project is something that deeply inspires us. Luka is very inspired by F1 racing cars.
Luka: Yes, I really like the process of how carefully and meticulously those machines are designed. I think that we can learn so much from that form of engeneering. Overall, we are inspired by the design process and by it’s iterations.
We don’t have some idol or some studio/firm that inspires us most, but we find so much new and inspiring things and thoughts in works of Herzog & De Meuron, Peter Zumthor, BIG ( Bjarke Ingles Group) and OMA, Alvaro Siza, Alberto Campo Baeza, etc….They are all very different from each other but we are both attracted to their work.
4. What would you say is your unique style? How did it develop?
Neuvelle once said that he has no particular style and that every building is completely different to him. We have similar opinion on that. Style should not be something that is purely expression of form, but rather something that is embedded deeply in the logic of the design process. However, if we have to categorize our style we will say it is innovative, yet completely noninvasive. As fictional character Don Draper would say: “Simple but significant.”
5. How do you think CoContest is changing the landscape for designers?
CoContest is changing the landscape for designers because it is allowing designers to participate in unpretentious contests. Competitions on Cocontest are great because they are freed from any restrictions and pressures that traditional huge architecture design contests have.
6. What ways do you think the architecture market is changing in the years to come? What potential do you see in the Internet expanding a way from customers doing business only with traditional firms?
Well, we are a perfect example of how architecture is changed with the Internet development by online freelancing. We created our studio based on purely our creativity with almost no material resources. We believe there is no reason that every architect shouldn’t do the same. The Internet gives endless possibilities which are based on a huge amount of connections, interactions and virtual cooperation. Nowadays every architect has the opportunity, more than ever, to create his own small studio and push himself through his practice. The Internet was a big game changer in the recent years, but in years to come we see opportunity for another change in the development of architectural robotics and in development of environmentally friendly design.
7. How do you think Cocontest can be improved?
Probably introduction of clients’ profiles would be great. It would be very helpful for every designer to have deeper insight of the client’s demands, preferences, and previous projects in one place.
8. Have you seen any projects you admired on Cocontest? If so, which ones and why?
We have seen many fine projects. We especially like projects that are well-designed, presented nicely and done with attention to detail and the clients’ requirements.
9. What is your advice for young architects trying to make a name for themselves?
We are young architects who are trying to make a name for ourselves. All we can say is that we are trying to work as much as we can, and at the highest quality that we can. We are always trying to improve, and every new project we make is better than the previous one; that is probably the only advice we have for now. 🙂