Tiny House Design Competition 2017, Winners’ Interviews

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The Tiny House Movement seeks to revamp the notions of a home, one’s personal sanctuary through innovations in design and technology. The competition aims to celebrate individuality, redefine sustainability and exalt simple, resourceful living. The Movement is also a platform to explore the avenues of mobile living spaces and the freedom they would offer.
The homes can be designed as an innovation of maximum usable space in a minimum footprint, thus redefining sustainability.
Come take a look at what the winners’ of “Tiny House Design Competition 2017″ have to say about their design process!

Winners :

First Place: Home.rar

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the First prize of our “Tiny House Design Competition 2017″competition – Chan Ting Leung Henry – Lau Yuan Lei Flora – Yuen Tung Hing from Hong Kong

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01-What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

There are always more you can get from architecture vision competitions than you can imagine, as they do not only give you chances to design as you were at school or work, but also give you an opportunity to visualize the theories you have learned and the craziest ideas from your mind that you have never thought of. It would really be the best way of training yourself in terms of design, besides that you would get a unique project and experience for your own portfolio.

 02-What were the challenges you faced while designing for such a restricted space?

Spatial quality is usually ignored in tiny residential units, leading poor and non-humane living spaces for a “home” to the users. The major challenge is to provide better spatial quality within the restricted area of a tiny house, while allowing enough storage and usable spaces for the users.

03-What was your thought process while designing for tiny house competition?

Usually in a tiny house, each and every functional space has to be compressed to smaller sizes, making it uncomfortable for the users.

In our design, we target on providing better spatial quality for a “’home” by maximizing each and very functional space. In order to provide large and comfortable spaces for each function within a restricted area, the unused spaces are compressed and minimized.

Also the idea of spatial compressing could be applied to either a hut in the wildlife protection area or a flat in city apartment, as it does not affect the surrounding environment

04-What attracted you to this competition?

Tiny living spaces are so common in nowadays major cities, but most of them lack spatial quality. In Hong Kong, the housing prices is one of the big issue. It is so high that the new generation can hardly afford, and even if they can buy a flat, it is usually too small to have good spatial quality. They are not much of a  “home” for the users but just a tiny sleeping area for the people back from work.

It is time for us to work out a solution for tiny houses, providing good enough spatial quality as being a “home”.

05-Where does your interest in design come from?

Vision and passion would lead the interest in design. As youngsters, we have always been thinking about the future. As architects and designers, we need to have a vision and passion for the future, striving to build a better one.

06-What design fundamentals do you believe in?

I believe the future architecture will be the boundless connection between architecture and the nature, with coexist of human and animals, city and plants. Developments will no longer stand on its own with the absence of environmental coexistence.

 07-Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

Feasibility is always one of basics in our design, as we would like to raise ideas for the future. As transformer furniture have taken years to promote and getting more common to users these days, we are hoping our design could also play a part in the future one day.

08-What were your references/ inspiration?

Transformer furniture are common for tiny residential flats in present modern cities, as they compress the unused area for other usage. It is important to get one step further and apply this idea to the whole living unit.

 09-Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?

The most important aspect when designing a residential unit is to give the users the sense of space as a “home”.Thus every spatial experience and activities of the users have to be well considered, so that the designed unit could be spacious and comfortable for the users.

10-What according to you is the key to making your design a success?

Passion and responsibility would be the key to a successful design. Passion is always needed when you face challenges during the design process. Also, for a good design, users’ experience and feeling are always cared and well considered, as well as the other parties. It would be the responsibility that drive the whole design to a better level, making it a successful design.

 11-Which tools do you use during design? what is inside your toolbox? such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?

Besides computer software, physical models help a lot when we do our design as it helps to show the sense of space and can walk us through our own design and thoughts. Softwares such as Autocad, SketchUp, etc. help to visualize the design details in terms of dimension and scale. Hardware such as theory books and portfolio reference books help us to enlarge our database and vision, which could help us explore and push our design steps further and better.

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Second Place: Autonomous

Mattias Nilsson – David Fjällström from Sweden 

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01-What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

Do it.

02-What where the challenges you faced while designing for such a restricted space?

To arrange the four-directional plan where every floor/wall/roof has an impact on the three others.

03-What was your thought process while designing for tiny house competition?

We went from a transportable homemade of modular rooms with specific functions, to a self-moving version of the same and finally came up with the final idea of the rotating unit with a minimal footprint and less programmed spaces.

04-What attracted you to this competition?

We are interested in small housing units, especially since the housing market somehow induces luxury and a large space. Also, the simplicity of the task allows a very conceptual approach.

05-Where does your interest in design come from?

We enjoy the innovative part of designing, where you can try and experiment with new ideas in a problem-solving way.

06-What design fundamentals do you belive in?

Modernism, structuralism and brutalism,theories that are based on the idea that the construction and form stands for the artistic value.

07-Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

No, not really, it’s a conceptual project, but it’s probably possible to realize.

08-What were your references/inspiration?

The bi-wheel vehicle and Verner Pantons furniture.

09-Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?

In an architectural competition, to maximize the potential of the concept and present it as clear as possible in everything from the title to the drawings and visualizations etc.

10-What according to you is the key to make your design a success?

It’s a project that is easy to grasp and it tickles your imagination.

11-Which tools do you use during design? what is inside your toolbox? such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?

In this project we used SketchUp, Photoshop and Indesign. Our sources of inspiration vary. It could be images on instagram or pinterest, but also a hand sketch from an old architect or something else that we find interesting.

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Third Place

Debaditya Maity – Anwesh das – Soumyajit Bagchi from India

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01-What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

We think it is extremely important to participate in these type of competitions; not only do they help build your self confidence but also test your level of imagination. As architects we need to be more inclined towards being visionaries rather than just technicians. We personally think taking part in such competitions enhance one’s thinking capabilities. So, yes if you’re still thinking of participating in these competitions, we will encourage you to go ahead and give it a try; it’s worth the experience.

02-What where the challenges you faced while designing for such a restricted space?

Well frankly speaking designing a smaller space is much difficult than a bigger space. In a smaller space you need to be more compact and the level of details become minute. So it was a real challenge to accommodate all the spaces within that small box.

03-What was your thought process while designing for tiny house competition?

At first it was all about how a tiny house should function, which spaces needs to be incorporated with which, which needs more priority, which needs less. Initially we started with the functional part, tried to understand the whole logic behind it, then we started to think of the idea which can actually make a difference for our project. Once the idea arrived, functional programming automatically started to combine with the idea and hey! That’s how we arrived at it!

04-What attracted you to this competition?

The topic itself attracted us; well we had never thought of designing a 250sqft space and yes we should say it was indeed a great experience to design such a small space and try to organize our actual idea into a living prototype.

05-Where does your interest in design come from?

History plays a very vital role in our design interests; we think history can be used as a tool to define new spaces. We think everything that we see and observe plays a part for our design exercise as everything that we see reflects in our works.

06-What design fundamentals do you believe in?

We try to keep things as simple as it can be, designs need not need  be always complex. A very complex thing can also give a very simple straight line feeling. So what we think is to try to be as creative and logical we can be in order to achieve that simplest form of the idea that we are arriving at.

07-Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

Yes, we think India needs more of such proposals to enhance the old cultural glory that we have. People need to understand that without the roots one cannot go far of and to showcase your roots, this type of proposals needs to be granted so that more people get to know about this.

08-What were your references/ inspiration?

As a team we were an inspiration to each other, the thinking process never stops and throughout this whole design we had to convince each other. We think this itself works as inspiration.

09-Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?

What we feel is that, the idea is the most important aspect in a design because ideas are everywhere, all one needs to do is to observe it and take a stand for it, have faith in it. This is the most important job, the rest can be learnt or practiced but generating an idea is a unique thing which is very hard to achieve.

10-What according to you is the key to make your design a success?

Having faith in the design, or the idea. Making you believe that this has the potential to make it. I think this played a huge role in our design. Also teamwork, they never fail you, they always evolve from one point to another.

11-Which tools do you use during design? what is inside your toolbox? such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?

A huge bucket of doubts and imaginations, those are the real tools for us. 

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