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Natalia Okaliova

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For almost two decades I have been defined as an athlete. A definition reflecting my dedication to sports, to the daily effort to become better and learn from my own mistakes, as well as the actual results from competitions. 7 years later, I have evolved from being an athlete to being an architect, however the general definition did not alter…

To me, architecture is similar to sports; first of all, in order to be successful, you have to be passionate and dedicated. The performance, meaning your project, is the outcome of hard work, discipline and sacrifice. Gymnastics is a highly critical sport. Constant judgment from juries and other professionals that doubt you and put you under pressure.

As an outcome I have become more resistant to the same form of tension present in architecture. On the other hand, exceptional athletes are always rewarded and I believe, so are brilliant architects. I am not 100% sure how and why I have become an architect. It is similar to when you fall in love and you cannot rationally explain why. Nevertheless, I can tell for sure that being an athlete has defined and helped me to be the architect I am today.

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