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An internship as an important step in the career of an architect-Report from a winner of the TDA, Antonina Wójtowicz, of her internship in Warsaw.

The Tubądzin Awards attracts the attention of young, ambitious architects. They are hungry for knowledge and inspirations. That’s why the Young Power category attracts so many interested students from all over the world. A group of students from Cracow took part in the competition. The team consisting of Ludwik Pysz, Antonina Wójtowicz and Mateusz Dziuba entered a group’s work into the competition. Their mentor was professor of engineering and architecture Piotr Winskowski from the Architectural Department of the Cracow Polytechnic. One of the prizes of the competition was an internship with the best architectural offices in Europe. There were 3 places – Lviv, Paris and Warsaw. Today we would like to present the realization of the prize in Warsaw, where team member Antonina Wójtowicz spent some time.


What was the biggest challenge during your internship? What were the most important lessons learnt and inspirations you gathered during your time as an intern?
The internship in a  studio was truly a unique experience. I think, that for a young architect looking to find his way in this demanding industry, such an internship is an important step on which one can base his or her future decisions. As an intern, I learnt so much, both from the practical side and directly linked to interior design- modelling, preparing arrangements, the design process, names of designers and of well known furniture designers. Furthermore, I discovered a passion for creating, collecting inspirations and enjoying various shades of velvets, polished tiles and wall paper designs. I got to know fantastic people who were interesting, capable, full of passion, creative who taught me and pushed me to further develop and find my own way.

A great experience was the possibility to get up and close to projects, taking my own micro decisions, which in a way had an impact on the final effect and the possibility to work on prestigious projects. For me, the biggest challenge was the work ethic- as a student I was not used to the standard of work, working full time in an office wasn’t easy and demanded huge mobilization on my end.

Another aspect of the internship in Warsaw was the change of place of living. I’m from Cracow, so the move to Warsaw, a city completely different from the historic and quiet city of Cracow, was an additional experience. I’m pleased to have gotten to know Warsaw and spend some time living there, to discover its beauty and specifics.

The winning project in TDA. What was your inspiration for this project? What is the most important element in this space?
First, I would like to underline that the project was the result of the cooperation between Ludwik Pysz, Mateusz Dziuba and myself. Our inspiration was and older idea for a therapeutic space in psychiatric hospitals, which thanks to heliotherapy supports the curing of a variety of psychiatric illnesses. When we found out about the theme of the competition, we decided to adapt our idea in designing a space for the average citizen in a public place, where everyone has the possibility to regenerate thanks to specific colours of light. All of us need time peace and quiet these days. The most important aspect of the designed pavilion is its elliptical shape, which allows incoming light to be modulated by the sun traveling over the horizon. We used the Epoxy Graphite tiles from Tubądzin in this project.

Please, tell our community if you think that they should participate in the next edition of the TDA. What can a student gather from entering this international competition?
Winning the Tubądzin Design Awards was a huge shock to the three of us and it came as a total surprise. Knowing that the competition is international, we didn’t have high hopes of winning when we entered our work. We were so pleased to win and happy with the prizes that came with it. I think that for each of us it was a unique distinction and a great starting point for further development and taking on new challenges. Not to mention the personal gains in terms of points for a scholarship.

What challenges are you as a young architect seeking?
Working with interesting people; designing unique spaces, that affect its users, creating spaces that answer to specific needs; responsibly and ecologically.

If right now we could transfer ourselves to a well-designed space, which place on earth, public space or building would you choose? Is that a space in which you feel good?
If I were to choose such a place, it would be our home near Babia Góra. After living for some time in a large, crowded city, I would love be in a quiet place with direct contact to nature, wooden interiors, wide spaces and sunshine.  

Have you already chosen in which direction you would like to develop yourself in architecture?
I have not yet decided in which direction to go, because I know and have tried too little to answer that question. I enjoy designing interiors, especially after my internship, and I might take that road.

Antonina Wójtowicz – Student of Architecture at the Architectural Department of the Cracow Polytechnic, Cracowian, feminist. I was close to studying IT or Physics at AGH, but in the end decided to study architecture. Thanks to that you are reading about her her and not in IT magazines. In her free time she tries to live a healthy life, reading books, travelling and constantly reaching for new experiences and knowledge. In practice it doesn’t always work out like that 😉

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