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“If you have a good idea, you can make a presentation in two hours”


… said Johanne Borthne without hesitation when Superunion Architects shared their experience with architectural competitions at their 120 TALK this Tuesday.

Along with her partner Vilhelm Christensen she started Superunion in Oslo in 2011. In their 20 square meters office they have developed an attraction to both the XS and XL projects. As an result their work range from exhibitions to housing to urban planning. Asker Square was the breakthrough and according to Christensen they only spent 120 hours on the winning proposal. The key was to work out one clear idea in one good diagram.

Borthne is a previous jury member of 120 HOURS and points out how important it is to attend competitions even as students. It is not only the unique chance to get your work evaluated by great architects, but also the actual experience and the «spin-offs» you might get. When we asked what their approach was to this year’s theme, the answer was clear: « Sustainability is like universal design for us, a matter of course in every project, but never a driving force itself.»

The driving force of a project should be the concept, and in order to develop a great concept the idea must be crystal clear. It demands a strong attitude and maybe you will have an office visit by Kanye West or win 120 HOURS. Either cases, the mantra is clear: «No guts, no glory.»

The lecture can be viewed here.