Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of University of São Paulo, Brazil / 2009
When Brazilian architect Marcos Acayaba recommended Pedro Saito to us, we knew he had his reasons. Award-winning Ubatuba-born Saito not only graduated from the University of São Paulo with a highly praised thesis project on public spaces and subway infrastructure, he also combines architecture with visual arts experience. Working as a graphic designer and art director, Saito has freelanced for book publications and magazines, which he carried out alongside his architectural study. Following training periods at different Brazilian practices, including Acayaba’s own firm, he started work on his own projects, kicking off with a house designed for two software developers in Ilhabela, due to be completed later this year.
Most inspired by: BIG, for their communicative architecture; contemporary Japanese architects, especially Suppose Design Office and Sou Fujimoto. Gehl Architects for the way they investigate urban spaces; and some of my best teachers: Antonio Carlos Barossi, Angelo Bucci, Alexandre Delijaicov and Marcos Acayaba.
Kin Cheong Chan
University of Hong Kong, China / 2009
Even though Kin Cheong Chan only recently graduated with a Distinction-awarded thesis project on the design of a Chinese Embassy building in Tokyo, his work has already reached far beyond the Chinese borders. Since 2008 he has collaborated with Professor Eric Schuldenfrei on two major projects – the ‘Chain City’ installation they were involved in for New York-based practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro was shown at the 2008 Venice Biennale, while their design for a noise barrier architectural competition for the Hong Kong government was awarded third prize. Currently employed at international practice RMJM, Chan is involved in various competitions and builds in mainland China.
Most inspired by: BIG
Ken Chung Tat Lee
University of Hong Kong, China / 2010
Since graduating, 25-year Ken Lee has been working at Hong Kong-based studio Wong and Ouyang Architects. The Chinese-British designer cites his education as being instrumental in teaching him independent thinking, as well as the ability to transform a mental picture into a physical space and communicate this. Drawing inspiration from the works of Bjarke Ingels, Future Systems, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Archigram, as well as the surrealist paintings of Rene Magritte, Lee used his thesis project to conjure up a series of floating platforms designed to absorb and accommodate changes in nature and the environment, without compromising their function (a floating hotel, dive school and water park).
Would most like to work with: BIG in Denmark, and Diller Scofidio + Refro in New York.
Eva Rosborg Aagaard
Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art Architecture School, Denmark / 2010
Having travelled extensively during her studies, 30-year old Eva Aagaard produced a dense, rich tapestry of architectural images for her diploma project, a hotel in Sarajevo. 'I learned the value of the investigational architectural process,' she says of her studies, 'My travels and fieldwork have been my biggest inspirations - to experience foreign cultures and see how other people live have challenged my approach.' Issues of local culture and context pervade her work. The hotel, rendered as a dense array of interlocking boxes, is designed for both short and long stays, and is inspired by a traditional roadside inn. Aagaard is currently teaching at the Aarhus School of Architecture.
Most inspired by: Alejandro Aravena and Elemental’s approach on the social impact of urban projects
Städelschule, Germany / 2010
Indian national Deepak Jawahr is currently pitching his skills at design competitions, as well as showing the world his thesis project, a performing arts centre in Rio de Janeiro. 'After graduation, my manifesto is now that 'real complexity lies in sufficient simplicity,' he says, 'my personal experience is that seeking "complexity" is getting fashionable – and problematic. It is vital to address the core of the problem.' Citing Rem Koolhaas and Ben van Berkel, one of his tutors, as major inspirations, Jawahr believes that architects need to start moving away from image-oriented design. 'Architects should represent the values of society, not individual ambitions,' he says. His graduation project blends complicated forms with a simple structure, with a circulation that forms a complex, 'vortex-like', intersection within an arts building.
Most inspired by: OMA's research wing AMO.
Städelschule, Germany / 2009
Even though he only finished his Masters at the Stadelschule last year, Italian Michele Albanelli already has extensive professional experience – ranging from work in private Roman architecture practices to one-off personal independent projects. Albanelli, who was highly commended by the Frankfurt school’s dean Ben van Berkel, designed a youth hostel in Brazil for his final year project, while in 2008 he won the Günter Bock Prize for the best student work. He is now busy with more independent work, and has just completeed the interior design for a small private library in Italy.
Most inspired by: ‘Rem Koolhaas and OMA, or David Adjaye.’
Georgia Institute of Technology, US / 2009
A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Yehwon Kim also combines studies at the École Nationale Superieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette and the Yonsei University in Seoul with numerous student scholarships. One of her last year projects was the Joyous Dancer, a creative design of a wearable architectural environment, while her largest final year work revolved around an aquatic centre. Adding to that her extensive professional experience at the Gwangju Design Biennale for 2011 and Mooyoung Architects and Engineers in Seoul, and it’s no wonder that celebrated Korean architect H-Sang Seung asked Kim to join his Seoul-based company, Iroje, even before she graduated. Kim is now involved in many of the firm’s international projects, as well as being responsible for the busy practice’s publications and exhibitions management.
Would most like to work with: Oscar de la Renta. I love his sleek, sophisticated and classic style.
Maciej Jakub Zawadzki
Warsaw University of Technology, Poland / 2009
Alongside both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree from the Warsaw University of Technology, Maciej Zawadzki enriched his time in academia with a scholarship exchange program to the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Brussels. His thesis included the design of a unique museum space off the Miami shore; the Museum of Latin American Immigrants evolved from a set of computer-generated spiralling forms, resulting in the building’s final aerodynamic shape. Following small stints at Warsaw practices SDA Architekci and Hermanoqicz Architekci, he moved to Copenhagen to join SEA and then BIG, where he is currently based.
Most inspired by: my father, who was an architect. And the work of young Spanish architect Alvaro Garcia Mendive.
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland / 2010
Estelle Lépine’s thesis comprised the design of a high-altitude refuge centre in l’Aiguille du Gouter a Saint-Gervais en Haute-Savoie in France, a project she completed with flying colours. Currently engaged in PhD research at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, studying the impact of the energy standards and rules on buildings and their users, she is aiming for a career in higher architecture education. This doesn’t mean that Lépine hasn’t had her fair share of architecture practice; training stints at Atelier Cube in Lausanne and Latitude Architects in London provided her with the appropriate professional perspective, as did her first personal independent project, a family chalet in the French Alps, which is currently under construction.
Most inspired by: a truly open-minded client, so we can create a project that will please both them and myself; and maybe make other people dream.
Matthias Rippmann, Michael Knauss and Silvan Oesterle
ETHZ, Switzerland / 2007
Three years after graduating from the prestigious ETH Zurich and the University of Stuttgart, Michael Knauss, Silvan Oesterle and Matthias Rippmann formed their own practice, ROK. Their exceptional combined portfolio includes professional experience with UNStudio, Gramazio & Kohler, Behnisch Architects, Werner Sobek and LAVA and academic lecturing at schools like the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Architectural Association in London and ABK Stuttgart. Their most recent project, the Flat2Form System, outlines a unique method for bending two parallel sheets of the same material into a predefined geometric shape, using a matching hole pattern in their surfaces.
Most inspired by: Frei Otto.
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland / 2010
Following on from a degree in architecture at the university in his home town of Montreal, Shin Koseki started his Masters in 2007 at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where he won his tutors over with his thesis – a multi-functional super tower in Lower Manhattan, cleverly interconnected with the island’s existing urban fabric. After graduation, he started a PhD at the same institution on ‘the implementation of an economy of use values in the production of a new urban model’. Combining excellent student work with experience in practices like Fuksas Associati, Reiser-Umemoto and Atelier Braq, Koseki offsets his heavyweight architecture academia credentials with a separate creative portfolio in photography and graphic design.
Most inspired by: people who trust me and whom I can trust, people with beautiful minds and adventurous ideas.
Oxford Brookes University, UK / 2011
George Calver's work draws inspiration from the work of Louis Kahn, Peter Barber, Álvaro Siza and Herzog and de Meuron, amongst others. The 23 year-old British architect will finish his diploma in May 2011 and describes his understanding of architecture as a 'holistic system of influences from the built form and function, to its socio-cultural context.' 'The most important thing I took from my studies was architecture's integral relationship with people,' he says, going on to explain that the current economic climate is the biggest challenge facing architects and students alike, along with sustainability and the need for restoration and renovation. 'Existing buildings need to become energy efficient and sustainable without drastically changing the user experience or their lifestyles.' His graduation project focused on low-cost housing and the integration of sustainable technology.
Most inspired by: Louis Kahn and Caruso St John Architects.
Royal College of Art, UK / 2011
James Wignall has previously worked at jobs as diverse as a design consultant for the V&A Wasted project at the 2009 London Design Festival, a deputy unit leader at Nottingham University, and a designer with Heatherwick Studio, and is currently creative director at his own design firm, Wignall & Moore. His architecture degree at Nottingham University (where he currently teaches) was followed by a Masters at the RCA, where he won the Sustain Award and was nominated for the Conran Award and the RIBA Silver Medal. Wignall’s aim is to combine architecture, design and sculpture through his work. His favourite project, the cast iron and bronze Double Sided River, is essentially an intersection of two maps; in section it shows the River Thames and in plan, the Thames floodplain.
Most inspired by: Constantin Brancusi, or possibly George Roy Hill while he was making Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Architectural Association, UK / 2010
The Norwegian-born Jorgen Tandberg is currently working at Factum Arte in Madrid and embodies the pan-European character of the 21st century architect. His studies at the AA included the creation of a well-publicised Bat House project (with Yo Murata), a richly decorative, highly poetic folly that's also a breeding space for rare species. Tandberg draws inspiration from artists and architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Gert Jan Willemse, John Hejduk, Étienne-Louis Boullée and Gerhard Richter. 'Architecture can't determine how people behave,' he says. 'It can only contain their actions.' His graduation project, The Immeuble Cite, is a Hedjuk-inspired megastructure for the 'post-Fordist worker'.
Most inspired by: the job I have now, but at some point I would like to set up my own practice.
Nandi Marshal Han
Manchester School of Architecture, UK / 2010
When Nandi Marshal Han was announced as the winner of the 2010 Architecture Foundation Student Travel Award, sponsored by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), we knew this soon-to-be graduate was one to watch. Following his well-deserved Award-related trip to Lhasa in Tibet to research on the development of urbanisation and the public space within the Holy City, he took up a work placement at KPF. A multi-award winner for his student designs and creative work, Han has also contributed to research publications at Manchester Architecture School with a special focus on urban masterplanning and sustainability.
Most inspired by: KPF – they are a great commercial company. OMA for their experiments, Steven Holl for his interpretation of architecture and nature that has always inspired me. I would love Peter Hall to be my mentor in research.
The Bartlett School of Architecture, UK / 2010
Nick Elias graduated from the Bartlett in 2010 and currently works at Foster and Partners. 'At the Bartlett I learnt how to think very critically about objects and their influence on our living structure,' says the 21-year-old. 'I also learned that architecture does more than just talk about 'image', it analyses the experiences felt when confronted with either an object or a building.' Drawing influences from the conceptual work of Lebbeus Woods and Perry Kulper, Elias used his graduation project to focus on water use in the UK ('and the rapacious nature of the average Brit') and how it might be reduced, rendering his concept with an intricate series of drawings that are a feast for the eyes.
Most inspired by: concept design and art.
Cardiff University, UK / 2010
Rachel Witham graduated this summer, taking with her a clutch of awards for her final year work. Currently engaged on a competition-winning design study, the 24-year-old is also adept at working with poured concrete to make hefty but elegant homewares. Her influences tend towards the more solid, fundamental school of architectural design, including the Smithsons, Leslie Martin, Pierre Chareau, Hans Scharoun and Sir John Soane. Her own work is richly textured and layered, and her graduation project, 'Curating Curation', set out to shape space through the arrangement of objects and knowledge. 'I have come to really admire architecture that is born out of ingenuity and inherent complexity yet as a whole forms a coherent and rich experience,' she explains. Witham hopes that 'good affordable architecture with longevity and no frills' will emerge from the current austere climate.
Most inspired by: the more solid, fundamental school of architectural design, including the Smithsons, Leslie Martin, Pierre Chareau, Hans Scharoun and Sir John Soane
The Bartlett School of Architecture, UK / 2010
Thandi Loewenson is a Zimbabwean Part 1 student with an eye for the elaborate, complex and interwoven space. Currently working at Emulsion Architects (see W*70) in London, the 21-year old describes her studies at the Bartlett as being as much about 'social and political science' as the study of creating physical environments. 'I'm inspired and challenged by the chaos and incredible ingenuity that necessity produces in poor communities,' she says. Drawing inspiration from the now-demolished Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong, she designed an urban tower for 'living, recreation, and algae farming,' an Archigram-esque slice of dystopic futurism that's sustainable but kind of chaotic, part Heath Robinson, part Carlo Scarpa, yet still strangely beautiful and functional.
Most inspired by: Enric Ruiz Geli at Cloud 9 Studio in Barcelona.
Columbia University, US / 2010
Coming highly recommended by architect and Columbia tutor Galia Solomonoff, whose design studio David Maple completed during his studies for an MSc in Advanced Architectural Design, this graduate stood out for his imaginative seaside redesign and reinvention of the casa grande housing scheme for Rio de Janeiro; a model that has been adopted in the past by the likes of Oscar Niemeyer. Combining studies in New York’s famed architecture school as well as a bachelor of architecture from Pennsylvania State University, Maple has also been awarded several prizes for student work and design excellence. He is currently employed at Openshop Studio in New York, a boutique practice where he also gained earlier professional experience in-between courses, while a Columbia University book including his contribution is expected to hit stores in spring 2011.
Most inspired by: my brother Scott.
Joaquin F Stearns
Columbia University, US / 2010
Stearns was born and raised in Buenos Aires, where he began his studies in architecture. Moving to the US in 2003, he graduated from the Architecture School of the Pratt Institute in New York with the highest honours and followed through with a Masters in Real Estate Development from Columbia University. His business-minded studies, combined with experience at architecture practices and real estate development companies, have already earned him great acclaim. His thesis, Urban Interventions: A Catalyst to Development Opportunities in the City of Sao Paulo, is about to be published as a book and has been presented to developers and investors in Brazil and New York.
Most inspired by: New York City architecture.
Studio Hopson Rodstrom
Columbia University, US / 2010
Nicholas Hopson and Klara Rodstrom, both architecture graduates of the University of Southern California, took a three-year break from academia in 2006 to gain valuable professional experience in offices like Leeser Architecture, Sander Architects and Work Architecture Company, before continuing with further studies at Columbia University. Since starting their architectural studies, the pair have taken part in numerous publications and exhibitions, but their Impressao Olimpica project for Rio de Janeiro at the Galia Solomonoff studio at Columbia was the one that especially caught our eye. It examines the effect of an impressive sci-fi temporary media and communication complex for the upcoming Rio Olympics that can be adapted to benefit the area’s infrastructure post-Games.
Most inspired by: SANAA, Herzog & de Meuron, OMA, and Peter Zumthor.
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, US / 2010
Megan Panzano currently works and teaches in Boston. 'At the GSD, I got the continuous thrill of the feeling when you're "onto something" working on a design problem - it's a feeling that never goes away, whether you're in or out of the studio,' she enthuses. Citing the work of Carlo Scarpa, Enric Miralles, Pablo Beitia, and the artists Joseph Cornell and Josiah McElheny, as influences, Panzano is dedicated to maintaining attention to detail in the face of economic adversity. Her GSD thesis project, 'A Living Archive', fuses the qualities of home and museum, storage and display.
Most inspired by: SHoP in New York, and OMA for their research and innovative views.
The Cooper Union, US / 2010
A result of her Cooper Union Irwik S. Chanin School of Architecture course, which she completed in 2010, Savina Romanos’ work was also shown at the Arch Schools exhibition at the AIA NY Centre for Architecture this past autumn. Her thesis project, entitled 'Dark Earth: Fire Centers and Territories', is a global research on fire, focusing on the case study of a specific forest site in the Zografos neighbourhood of Athens, Greece. Nurturing a deep interest in the connections between art and architecture, Romanos explored the both constructive and destructive effects of fire, zooming in the series of wildfires that appeared during the Greek countryside’s recent history since 1995. Through her research Romanos aimed to turn a fire’s negative results into fertile ground for positive architectural development.
Most inspired by: Peter Zumthor, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Enric Miralles-Benedetta Tagliabue, Alexandros Tombazis.
The Cooper Union, US / 2010
It is not just that Yael Hameiri combines in her academic CV two years in the City College of New York Architecture School and a further four at the influential Cooper Union school that makes her work stand out among her fellow-graduates; it is also that she earned a Cooper Mack Research Fellowship and several academic scholarships to do it. Her work has already represented her school at the Archiprix International 2011 & MIT Cambridge, Best Graduating Projects exhibition and competition and has been shown at the Arch Schools Exhibition 2010 at the AIA Center for Architecture in New York, while one more show at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Israel featuring her designs is due to open next June. Following graduation, Hameiri landed an enviable position at the New York outpost of Shigeru Ban Architects, which will undoubtedly add kudos to her already rich list of professional experience.
Most inspired by: communities and great thinkers, to make places that can hold memories.
Carlos Felix Raspall Galli
Yale School of Architecture, US / 2010
Having been taught by some of the biggest names in contemporary architecture, including Greg Lynn, Peter Eisenman and Frank Gehry, and with three years research experience on sustainability at the Habitat and Energy Research Center at Buenos Aires University, Carlos Felix Raspall Galli is well equipped to face the professional architecture world. Argentinean Raspall previously studied at the University of Buenos Aires before finally leaving academia in 2010 with a final project focusing on a concert hall in Istanbul. Keeping it local, Raspall is currently employed at Pelli Clarke Pelli in New Haven, even though his previous experience spans posts at the Takenaka Corporation in Osaka, Japan, and MSGSSS Arquitectos in Argentina, as well as a number of independent projects.
Most inspired by: Enric Miralles and Kazuyo Sejima.