Joint 3rd Prize Winner of the Reimagined Living & Working Space Competition 2021, Loop by Monika Mabiki is an incredibly captivating and personal response. Unique from other entries in its raw and literal depiction yet deeply thoughtful and surreal in its abstract composition, Loop invokes an emotive response from its viewer, powerfully communicating the story of the artist through a single snapshot.
A Bedroom of rectangular shape, 3 x 4 meters, with a large sash Victorian window of full height and consisting of a bed, a desk, a chair and a painting amalgamates into a 9 to 5 office.
The spectator witnesses an inhabitant of the space captured between two frames which act as portals; one frame being a window that unveils the restrictive reality of the bleak present, whilst the other frame belongs to a Mark Rothko painting which evokes the contrasting sentiment towards a freeing journey.
The person caught between the two juxtaposing portals recently encountered an upheaval of their space, driving them to become an architect of their own surrounding.
It is a space of contrasts, whereby a person works and lives, enduring privacy and invasiveness, uncertainty and safety, solitude and closeness, staticity and movement.
The reflection of the window against the glass frame of the painting reveals a tower-block, housing people that cannot be reached and a nature that cannot be accessed but which similarly to the Rothko painting pervades the space with undisturbed calmness.
This all occurs within a gap between two virtual portals, through which the gazer reimagines parameter of their existence.
FAT Q&A WITH
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BACKGROUND?
Studying Architecture and Urban Design in Poland, where I was born, was my first opportunity to encounter how form and function can improve lives.
Becoming a Londoner and Architect working for an architectural consultancy practice that specialises in housing, further developed my of love for responsible design as well for visual expression.
I am passionate about designing affordable high-quality residential spaces and I worked on multiple numbers of projects providing residents with great quality homes.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR ARTWORK?
I wanted to explore the cyclical nature of day to day living within an ambiguous environment of home - office space.
Knowing that my experience is part of the collectively felt isolation and solitude, reinforced the need to express this shared circumstance.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR REASON YOU CHOSE PHOTOGRAPHY TO REPRESENT YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE COMPETITION THEME?
Lockdown became the first-ever experience shared globally, at the same time for everyone - meaning six generations of people shared an experience of something so new and drastic.
This experience included everyone from the Silent Generation to Generation Z. Suddenly the realities of each individual became similar.
I hoped to convey the feelings that lockdown had on us collectively and individually. Photography being both a form of documentation as well as an artistic medium seemed the best choice, allowing me to capture the authentic moment in this new conjoint reality.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE COMPETITION & HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING AWARDED?
I thought the competition would be a good outlet for the thoughts and emotions that arose during the lockdowns. Having my entry recognised feels fantastic.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY LOVE ABOUT ARCHITECTURE AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE PROFESSION?
I cherish architecture’s ability to become the catalyst for a positive human experience.
Living and working under the high pressured realm of multiple lockdowns further reinforced my passion for this profession, through realising the even greater need for spaces that can be both liveable and accustomable.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ARCHITECT/DESIGNER OR ARTIST WHOSE WORK INSPIRES YOU?
I find Amanda Levete’s project very inspiring. I see designed by her public spaces and buildings as organic, inclusive and futuristic.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL ARTISTIC/DESIGN STYLE?
I am interested in all type of human experience, therefore the principles I honour in my creative process revolve around humanism and social topics.
Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu, Victoria Whenray of Conran + Partners, Jas Bhalla of Jas Bhalla Architects, Ross Hutchinson of Hutchinson & Partners, Marcos Rosello of aLL Design & Roger Ashman of Ashman Architects
Architects Journal Competition Call: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/competitions/reimagined-living-and-working-space
Architects Journal Shortlisted Entries: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/architects-art-shortlisted-in-contest-to-rethink-live-work-spaces