At the beginning of June 2017, one of the Judges of the Laka Competitions “Architecture that Reacts”- Dr. Peter Kuczia – met with Laureate of the 1st prize of the Laka Competition 2016 – Jin Young Song – at the Department of Architecture of University at Buffalo (State University of New York). Jin Young Song (AIA) is an architect, researcher, assistant professor at SUNY Buffalo and founder of DIOINNO Architecture PLLC (Buffalo and Seoul based design firm). His interest is focused on viewing the contemporary façade as a mechanism that integrates manifold technical and non-technical elements, thereby generating a specific relationship between people and culture.

More than 250 Participants from 40 countries submitted 127 designs to last year’s “Architecture that Reacts”. Jin Young Song together with Jongmin Shim (Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering of University at Buffalo), are the laureates of the 1st prize in the Laka Competition 2016. Their design “Snapping Facade” has been selected by the international panel of Judges including Dr. Peter Kuczia, Qun Dang (Architect, Principal Partner at MAD Architects), Ana María Gutiérrez (Architect, Co-founder of Fundación Organizmo, Ashoka Fellow), Julien De Smedt (Architect, Founder of JDS Architects), Arturo Vittori (Architect, Co-founder of Warka Water NGO, Director of Architecture and Vision), Nathalie de Vries (Architect, Urban Planner, Co-founder of MVRDV) and Tobias Wallisser (Architect, Co-Founder of LAVA Laboratory For Visionary Architecture). Learn more about the previous edition of the Laka Competition:

Snapping Facade (1st prize in the Laka Competition 2016):

Snapping Facade

AUTHORS’ DESCRIPTION: “Snapping Facade explores a sustainable building envelope design strategy that utilizes elastic instability to create dynamic motion at the building envelope. The building envelope controls heat gain and loss, allows views for visual comfort, and provides natural light (…). Snapping Facade suggests an alternative approach for the design of dynamic facade systems that use a “snapping-induced motion” to open and close apertures, providing shading for the building (…). Traditionally, unstable movement within the building construction is considered as an undesirable occurrence but, the Snapping Facade aims to harness the characteristics of elastic instability by applying it as an opening and closing mechanism using the embedded energy within the materials. Without complicated maintenance, users can participate in the dynamic movement of the building envelope for play, fun, and energy saving.”


Learn more about the “Snapping Facade”:

Dr. Peter Kuczia is an educator and expert in ecological constructions with more than 20 years of experience. In 2008 he defended his PhD dissertation on solar architecture in Germany. He is an author of “Educating Buildings – Learning Sustainability through Displayed Design”. He has been awarded international prizes, such as the 1st prize of the Polish Green Building Council for ZERO-ENERGY Research and the Educational Complex Wroclaw University of Technology; a national nomination to the MIES VAN DER ROHE AWARD for European Architecture and many others. His work, which covers a wide range of building types, has been exhibited and published around the world.

One of the recent designs by Peter is the “Wormhouse” located in Poland (near Pszczyna): Image: Alek Pluta (


Concept of “Educating Buildings” which is proposed and investigated by Dr. Peter Kuczia, will be a basis for one of the programs within the Laka Accelerator. The program is called “Educating Architecture Competition 2017”,  it is an international design competition which seeks innovative ideas of architecture that can educate us through its design. More information about the program will be available at the website of the Laka Accelerator in the mid of July:

The best proposals will be selected by the international Panel of Judges and presented during prestigious conference hosted by Solarlux ( in Melle (Germany). Program of the conference will consist of lectures of the selected Judges, discussion panel about the potential of architecture in the process of education, exhibition of the selected designs from the Educating Architecture 2017, and tour in the industrial complex of Solarlux. Winners and laureates of honorable mentions will be invited to participate in the event and present their designs. Details of the conference will be announced in the 4th quarter of 2017. We are happy to share that selected projects from the Laka Competitions “Architecture that Reacts” will be presented during the event as well!

SOLARLUX Aluminium Systeme GmbH, Melle

SOLARLUX Aluminium Systeme GmbH, Melle


Laka Competition is an international architectural competition which seeks innovative ideas that go far beyond typical building solutions, are socially engaged, capable of reacting to unpredictable conditions (environmental, natural, social) and provide safety for its inhabitants. Join the ongoing edition and submit your design of Architecture that Reacts!

Laka Accelerator is an international program which aims to offer opportunities of investigation, promotion and implementation of the best designs by providing professional consulting, international press coverage and visibility for potential funders:

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