Interview with Misak Terzibasiyan, Founder and Principal Architect (CEO) of UArchitects, NED

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Misak Terzibasiyan

Mizak is the Founder and Principal Architect of UArchitects, where he uses original and innovative designs to shape a better future for its users.

Interview with the 2019 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Misak Terzibasiyan

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

Misak Terzibasiyan was born 22-09-1964 in Helsinki, (Finland). His mother was Finnish and his father was Armenian.

The founder and owner of UArchitects, Misak Terzibasiyan is personally and professionally focused on international contexts as well as on the influence of cultural themes. This is heavily influenced by his ethnical background.

Misak studied at the University of Technology in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) at the department Architecture, Building Technology and City Planning. He has worked in many international architectural offices before founding his own office in 2003, in the city of Eindhoven which is a cultural and architectural icon. UArchitects is an international office which welcomes different nationalities.

He is also involved in commission work regarding the judgement of architecture plans in several municipalities in the Netherlands. At this moment, he is also involved with the academy of fashion and design (ArTEZ) in Arnhem as a part-time tutor for the master architecture programme. He writes on a regular basis for de Architect, discussing his critical vision about architecture and society.

The symbioses between the reality of architecture in his office and the reflection of the theoretic discussion of architecture gives a deeper meaning regarding the actual architecture profession.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

My father. He was born in Istanbul and his ethnical background was Armenian. He was a well-known textile designer in Scandinavia in the 60's and 70's. He was a tremendous inspiration to me, and his creativity inspired me to become an architect.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

Architecture and city-planning are our main focus. Primarily we investigate new dwelling and education possibilities in countries which urgently need new and improved living conditions. As architects we can make design contributions that will shape a better future for its users.

4What does “design” mean to you?

Design is more than to being creative. Design is making our world more interesting and pleasing to our senses.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

Designs that are original and innovative. This meets with clients' wishes and dreams.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

Design which is timeless, functional and designed for human use.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

Main focus is the sensory quality of our design. We have interest in the real experience and less in the virtual experience. We interview our clients face-to-face and try to understand the needs and wishes of our clients.

8Tell us about your design process.

It is teamwork and an intuitive design process alone and with the team.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Sure, this has an impact on my design process. I have an inspiration of Finland with the silent woods and reflecting lakes.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 MUSE Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

To receive this international Muse Awards is a confirmation of the capabilities of UArchitects. At the firm, we strive to achieve high quality architecture by paying particular attention to the context and to the society. Winning this prize also gives UArchitects more attention internationally, making our social media output greater.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 MUSE Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

In our opinion, this project represents the future of education in the Netherlands. The children learn about the natural environment through their education. We can help the client to demonstrate their school ethos through architecture, which we designed especially for them.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

I think our biggest challenge was creating the perfect architecture to suit the vision of the school. The phase of execution of the project with the contractor was a challenge.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

It has encouraged us to try and create more architecture which could out stand the test of time, without being fancy and attractive in the short term.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1) Context

2) Sensibility

3) The real thing

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

If you mean the Netherlands, than is the Dutch Design Industry and if I think of Finland, then it is the modest and natural design.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

I hope that the creative industry will develop independently of the virtual industry.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Try to be innovative and original.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

Collaboration with other and open minded regarding changes and challenges.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

A book will be published in 2020. I will inform on time.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My father because he realized his dreams.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Never give up your dreams. But most importantly, do everything in your power to realize these dreams.

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Our life is a design of our dreams and wishes. We try to achieve the best design of life: happiness and peace.

Winning Entries

IKC de Geluksvogel | 2019

The digital way of teaching is for the most part paperless (virtual), which is represented in the architecture of the building. It shows a brick element with random messages in binary code (1 and 0)...
(read more at Muse Awards)

Wink Atelier


In UArchitects, architecture and city-planning are our main focus, where we make design contributions that will shape a better future for its users.

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