Three questions for Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos, Student Award Winner in 2017

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Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos, University of Strathclyde Department of Architecture, Glasgow, won the 2017 RIAS Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for Best 5th Year Student, for his project Asylum: Scottish Youth Parliament And Ministry Of Education, Glasgow Green and Calton.

His project was described by the judges as a bold, vigorous, dynamic, detuned, energetic proposal, with an ambitious idea about democracy. He shows architectural form without fear, through a very clear journey.

We caught up with him a few minutes after he had been handed his silver medal at a special ceremony in Edinburgh, 13 July 2017.

How do you feel about winning the award?

PK: I’m feeling really delighted – I didn’t expect it, but I feel all the good and hard work I’ve done over the past few years has helped getting the award. I also feel that it’s a long journey and it’s really nice to study architecture and to give your best to be the best architect in what you want to do.

What are your plans for the future?

It would be really nice just to stay here in Scotland and to spend the rest of my future life here. I really want to stay just because it’s such a friendly environment and for five years its been my home – my primary home, not my second home. And also I’m working here so I feel that I can give something good back to Scotland because it gave me all this education. I am working for Haus Collective in Glasgow.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying architecture?

Just work, work, work and you have all the time after studying to enjoy yourself. Think about what your doing, in fact, think twice about what your doing. Also consider and express your willingness to give something back to society – this is the most important lesson as it’s something that’s going to follow you for the rest of your life.

Asylum: Scottish Youth Parliament and Ministry of Education
(Extract from the award submission by Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos)

The scenario for this project refers to the post-independent Scotland and how we can construct a government based on the idea of a direct democracy similar to models of governance in Switzerland and Canada.

The project focuses on the year 2042 and the 12 ministries that are proposed around the 10 different regions in Scotland, together with regional parliaments. The example of Glasgow is examined in detail and it is proposed there be an establishment of the Ministry of Education, which will work together in tandem with the Scottish Youth Parliament.

Glasgow Green, and especially Calton, which is one of the most deprived areas in Glasgow, is suggested as a site for such a building mostly due to the rich history in political discussion and protest, and also its location as the east gateway of the city.

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