CHANCE to create


In architecture we always have to take chances.

There is a tradition in our profession in which we participate in design competitions with the chance to win and have our design built. Of course, talent, design sensibility and many other things come in to play during such a competition – there is also simply the element of luck and chance that convinces a jury your design is better than the other 350 entries. So chances are 1:350 in some cases.

But there is another aspect of chance to these competitions. They offer the freedom of design, the opportunity to test new ideas and to explore new design concepts. Because of the indeterminate nature of chance, something is being explored that with a traditional client / architect relationship might not have been done before. This is certainly the case for a competition we did in Switzerland, where we applied formal strategies like using the pitched roof as the main architectural language, but segmented it, creating a semi-organic quality to the urban condition. This design idea is something we are very interested in further exploring in the future with one of our private clients when designing a single-family home.

So working on competitions offers the chance to win and build a project – but it also gives creativity the chance to unfold itself in a more unpredictable fashion, leading to innovation.

About The Author

Matthias Hollwich is principal of HOLLWICHKUSHNER, LLC, a New York City based architecture and concept design firm. He is also co-founder of ARCHITIZER, a social networking platform connecting architects via their designs. Matthias is driven by the aim to upgrade man-made environments on a human and engaging scale with an ECONIC twist and can be best reached at (

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