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Success for students of Wroclaw University of Technology. PATHWAYS museum project with 2nd Prize!

26 of May '23

Second-year students of the Faculty of Architecture at the Wrocław University of Technology—Iwona Kin, Paweł Mordeja and Alicja Smoczyk—received the Second Prize in the international competition „Emotions on Display—Museum Design”, beating 172 teams from around the world! Their PATHWAYS project, made under the direction of Dr. Bartosz Adamiczka and Tomasz Broma, is a museum design that takes the form of a „path” and, through it, allows you to experience the impact of different architectural spaces on the human mind.

Projekt PATHWAYS, rzut i przekrój

PATHWAYS project, projection and cross-section of the museum

© Iwona Kin, Pawel Mordeja, Alicja Smoczyk

The goal of the competition organized by the archiol platform was to understand the impact of changes in environmental and design elements on human emotions. The designed museum interiors were to help visitors understand the impact of various architectural spaces—their effect on the human mind, the emotions identified with them, and what changes they require to affect the well-being of users. According to the competition guidelines, participants were to pay attention to such elements as transitions between emotions and their sequence, and the object they designed was to lead to improved well-being as a result.

Zespół projektowy. Od lewej: Alicja Smoczyk, Paweł Mordeja, Iwona Kin

Design team, from left: Alicja Smoczyk, Paweł Mordeja, Iwona Kin

photo: authors' archives

international success of the PWr students

The works submitted from all over the world were evaluated by a jury consisting of Lawrence Daykin (designer from the Netherlands), Andreea Felciuc (architect at Arup Venues), Sidra Khokhar (architect and educator from Pakistan). First Prize went to the Monologue from One Soul project from China by a team consisting of Xiaoyun Zhou, Jun Fang & Yuanjian He.

On the other hand, the 2nd Prize was won by students from Wroclaw University of Technology with the PATHWAYS project.

The interesting layout proposes a unique journey designed to take the visitor through a multitude of emotional and mental states. Despite the industrial character, both in terms of plan and physicality, the created „clean” spaces can overwhelm with their apparent simplicity, making a strong impression on the psyche," assessed Andreea Felciuc.

Projekt PATHWAYS, schematy

PATHWAYS project, schematics

© Iwona Kin, Pawel Mordeja, Alicja Smoczyk


The main source of inspiration for Iwona Kin, Paweł Mordeja and Alicja Smoczyk was their experience with circulation spaces inbuildings. According to the students, these spaces are often designed to solely fulfill their function—moving people and goods around the building, ignoring, as it were, their impact on the psyche and feelings of the users.

So they created the spaces in such a way that, from the visitor's perspective, the museum itself is an exhibition, and the individual parts of the designed object are exhibits. The object they designed takes the form of a path that leads the visitor through successive corridors and passages.
You begin your journey. No clear destination, even fewer clues. You appear at the entrance to a mysterious building. Guided only by your inner instincts, you decide to enter the mysterious structure—this is how the authors invite you to explore the unusual building.

Emocje i przestrzenie, które je odzwierciedlają

emotions and the spaces that reflect them

© Iwona Kin, Paweł Mordeja, Alicja Smoczyk

museum of emotions

The students wanted to illustrate the diverse impact of architecture on humans, and to this end they chose eight emotions and feelings -confusion, frustration, disappointment, joy, fear, anxiety, amazement and peace. They dedicated the following building blocks to each of them. Between them are neutral transition zones, which, unlike the rest of the building, are in the form of rooms. The entire building has a very austere and minimalist character, in order to best isolate the impact of the means used by the designers.

Projekt PATHWAYS, schody

PATHWAYS project, staircase

© Iwona Kin, Paweł Mordeja, Alicja Smoczyk

In our design process, we try to combine two opposing approaches: realistic and abstract. We focus on problems that we see in our immediate environment and that we consider underrepresented. At the same time, we try to incorporate abstract and conceptual ideas into the project, breaking away from conventional solutions," the authors conclude.

Muzeum emocji

The object has taken on a raw expression

© Iwona Kin, Paweł Mordeja, Alicja Smoczyk

a word from the project supervisors

The PATHWAYS project was created thanks to consultations with Dr. Bartosz Adamiczka and Tomasz Broma, who work at the PWr Department of Architecture, who say the whole process this way:

Didactics and cooperation with young people gives, in our opinion, an incredible dose of extraordinary energy. Especially when the object of struggle is a competition task. The very fact that male and female students approach us with an inquiry/request for support in working on such a topic is extremely nice—we feel honored and also appreciated by this. Further it is only better—standing in the competition, by definition, they decide to devote themselves to the task—devoting a huge amount of time, commitment and affection. Both parties know that the authors prioritize them—which also has a mobilizing effect on us. A kind of platform is created for the exchange of thoughts, ideas and often good humor. Because the most important thing is to find pleasure in the whole process and to approach it at least a little bit as fun—with each such process looking different. However, we most often arrange regular meetings (preferably live, but it also happens that we use online platforms)—on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. These types of meetings are most often held outside of working hours—sometimes in the course of scheduled consulting appointments—no less we treat it as an additional activity. We consult, we hint, we exchange ideas—we suggest leads to investigate [...]. At the same time, working at the university opens the door to even broader cooperation—knowing the issues and observing the development of the project, we suggest to the team with whom it would be worthwhile to consult the concept additionally—asking for help and using the experience of people with much greater knowledge than ours. We love to teach—especially in the case of competitions, it is an unheard of exchange of good energy and ideas for us. We think it's actually hard to say who benefits more from such cooperation. There is even more joy when the work, at the creation of which we had the opportunity to participate, is recognized in a competitionthis is both the team's design success and our teaching [...].

Read also about the projects of the Museum of Emotions, created as part of the Buildner platform competition and shortlisted for the competition—Michalina Grzyb from the University of Arts in Poznan and Natalia Suchy from the Silesian University of Technology.

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