What happened to the Winners of the past editions of the Young Talent Architecture Award? What are they up to? How are they dealing with the current situation? We asked them how do they think YTAA has changed their future as a young architect. Discover more!

Tomasz Broma decided to refer his #YTAAward2016 winning project s’lowtecture and self-discuss with it in the context of pandemic. Therefore, the former collage, which was a compilation of the main ideas of the project, he updated and confronted with the current phenomenon that we encounter on a daily basis. The pandemic situation requires reconsidering how quasi-utopian architectural visions based on sharing economics should work. The graphic is intended to stimulate such a discussion.

Who are you and when did you win the YTAA.

I’m Tomasz Broma and I’ve won the first edition of the YTAA in 2016.

How do you think the YTAA has changed your future as a young architect?

Winning the YTAA strengthened my confidence about choosing the path for further development. When you are at the beginning of your professional career the uncertainty associated with making decisions about your future can be depressing. Such an important recognition of the project, which at that time I considered to be a summary of my thinking about architecture, built in me a sense of confidence. Hence the decision to build (together with my partners Jerzy and Bartosz) a self-reliant, small studio in which I can develop freely and independently in my preferred direction.

How has your daily routine changed in the last months?

As I mentioned, together with my partners, we run a small studio – Adamiczka.Broma. Thanks to this we have great flexibility in time and task management. During this difficult time, we could afford a comprehensive transfer of work to our homes. At the beginning of our cooperation, we have worked remotely from various cities for over a year. So we have proven methods of cooperation at a distance and current technical solutions make it even easier. We are in constant contact with each other as well as with clients, collaborators and contractors. 

We try to flexibly adapt to the current situation. All members of our team are working on their doctoral dissertation. So this is the time for us when we shifted our attention to research and catching up in this area.

In your opinion, what is the future of architecture after this challenging time? 

The first stage in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 was total lockdown at all levels: from blocking borders at the global level, to moving most of our lives to private living space. Globally, international cooperation in the fight against pandemics is limited – governments and corporations focus mainly on internal activities. In direct contacts the atmosphere of danger and social distance mean that we see the threat of potential infection in strangers. In addition, images of people fighting for basic items in stores spread around the media. Therefore, the crisis situation leads us towards selfish independence and self-sufficiency. If the pandemic period lengthens and next waves follow our thinking about ourselves can be prolonged and strengthened. It may affect many aspects of our lives and, as a consequence, will also affect architecture.

Perhaps our approach to openness and sharing of both urban and architectural space will change. In regards, tend to greater autonomy may become apparent. We may give up or limit some elements of sharing economy for greater self-sufficiency. The accelerated phenomenon of transferring many of our daily activities to the virtual world is also significant in this process. In the socio-cultural sense current situation has allowed carrying out via the Internet activities for which technological possibilities have existed for a long time. All this directs us to the growing importance of a closed, self-sufficient private space that takes over the functions of an open, shared public space. The general lack of social trust may lead us to what is directly known to us and considered safe – towards locality, neighborhood and greater privacy.

However, pessimistic visions of the post-crisis world made right after the first shock rarely stand the test of time. Human nature and culture will not change dramatically in a few months. If the crisis will not prolong, in my opinion, all these changes will not be revolutionary. What may happen is rather a soft shift to the described direction. Nevertheless we should remember that current situation can only be a test before much more serious crises that await us as a result of climate change. That is why it is crucial that current problems and the human-focused attitude do not divert our attention from key issues related to ecology. 

What are your future projects?

My long-term goal is to finish work on my doctoral dissertation. It will be a review of unconventional construction technologies that are part of the low-tech architecture trend. The study covers a wide spectrum of solutions from the simplest and most primitive structures, in which the origins of architecture and construction might be sought, to new and innovative possibilities that set development directions for the future. It is a study of architecture in search for answers on demanding questions using technologies as simple as possible; architecture that always experiments with material to achieve designated goals with limited resources.

At the same time, together with the team, we will continue to develop our studio trying to achieve goals we have set. Every day we combine design with workshops, experiments, research, inventive design methods, animation, 3d printing, and most often also with good fun. And all this, I hope, we will be able to use and develop as soon as possible in our future projects.