Archive for November, 2009

Away for a week

You know what’s the problem with technology? It’s irritating when I have to pack for a week-long trip.

It used to be I packed my wallet and my mobile and its charger and my keys and I was good to go (excluding general stuff like clothes toiletries etc). Then I owned a camera. That came with its own charger. Then I owned an Ipaq player (remember those?) so I had to bring all my discs and batteries. Then I switched to an ipod, and that of course came with its accessories – earphones, and batteries/charger. Then I upgraded my camera and now have a whole host of cameraey stuff to bring, like extra sd cards and microfibre cloth and dust blower and lots of other little things.

It’s getting to the point I have to first pack all my gadgets and their accessories before other stuff because they just take up so much time and I don’t wanna leave anything/bring unnecessary stuff.  It matters, because I remember too clearly the Oslo trip this March where I lugged a heavy tripod all the way across the North Sea to find out I left the crucial screw/fastener/whatever-it’s-called at home. And all those electrical converters……

Anyway, the last 9 weeks felt like a whirlwind just passed my area. I think, with all the momentum we have gained from crashing through a short 9-week studio, that we should really keep up/maintain this momentum and keep up the adrenaline because, my friends, it’s just the beginning….

In a few hours we (except for Tris etc) leave for our week-long trip to Eichstätt, Germany… don’t know where that is? No matter, because I gather that it is quite in the middle of nowhere… As our resident German expert A. Schumm put it: Eichstätt?? What did you guys do wrong that they have to send you there???

Yeah, I am looking forward to it too ;)

P.s: So much so that I am not sleeping this night and spending the last hours cleaning the flat and blogging…..


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I won’t elaborate on it now, but I wonder how often and how easy it is for rifts to cause between friends. For example, I might react violently (not literally) to a friend’s action, which could itself be a reaction to something I’ve done earlier, which might be interpreted in a dozen ways. Without clear dialogue and straight-to-the-point talk, it’s often hard to get to the bottom of anything, and the rift gets wider and wider.


Anyway, very busy and tired now.  After a “Pre-final” presentation yesterday, we have less than two days to make sweeping changes (except the good, lucky or indifferent ones) to our work and to print and pin up everything again by Thursday 11am. Exorbitant costs aside,  I am just wondering why couldnt they have this interim (because that was really what it was) a few days earlier, so at least a week to brush up our work…

As for the customary respite after finishing of one project – none! on Friday I just remembered I have a submission for an assignment I know next to nothing about, and on Saturday we leave for Eichstaett, Germany for our next studio project. I reiterate what my tutors tell me that it’s not a holidayey trip – have to choose a site, formulate strategy, blah blah blah. Knowing my tendency to sleep for 15 hours or so after a major period of sleeplessness, I just hope I manage to wake on on Saturday morning to catch my flight.

Anyway, the clock is ticking…..

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Studio MSN?

You know how design tutors always go on and on about working together in a studio, where interaction will then happen between classmates…. an exchange of ideas, a “fruitful discussion”, et cetera et cetera and then they moan that “students nowadays” just don’t seem to have that sense of camaraderie anymore, or seem to work together, help each other out, blah blah blah.

But do we not?  Especially in our case – where there is a bunch of Malaysians away from home.  I certainly feel its presence (especially when throwing parties). I think that design discussion have merely moved into virtual space, like everything else these days . Almost everyone I know goes back to do their design work at home, making models or sketching or drafting, but everyone is connected via MSN or whatever, and discussion and idea exchange continues to happen.


In fact, with the unique set of options that comes with virtual chatting, the discussions and exchange is even more varied. I mean, nothing’s stopping you now from holding a video design crit with someone on the other side of the world, except perhaps normal bedtimes, which has no place in an architecture student’s vocabulary anyway.

The major downside is that you can’t draw or to point at things out to explain what you mean or to test ideas, and MSN Handwriting is not exactly the perfect replacement. Will that change when tablets or other electronic pen thingies become affordable for everyone? The laptop and CAD once wasn’t. The internet is our new studio…..

How does that work then? Hmm.

*picture is of the studio me, flora, puisan, peifun attended during our exchange in Ghent….my point is – all I can see is laptops, and the studio can be anywhere. Makes you wonder if one day everyone will be holding tablets instead of laptops and sketchbooks.

Pictures are left intentionally really dark… because the windows and the pitch of the roof just lends itself to really crazy natural lighting in that former monastery and I wanted to show it like it was.

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RAW files rocks

It’s a dilemma I could never solve – Me and Flora have 2 DSLR cameras, a compact camera, and about 4 camera phones between us, and my hard drive has been almost completely taken over by the gargantuan amount of photos. The difference is that she has about 248012414 photo albums on facebook and loads of photos in her blog and I have next to none. I take every photo with (usually) the same amount of effort and enthusiasm, but once transferred to my hard drive I mostly forget about them completely. I completely wipe them from my memory and wait for the next opportunity to take more (hence) inconsequential photos. I think I desperately need to do something about this problem. (Being me, I will use design studio as excuse and “reschedule ” it for xmas break)

Anyway, my life is completely taken up by this semester’s studio and sports (must), so I have no time to ramble about random topics like I used to for the past months. Probably won’t even be updating much, and have given up on trying to finish all the feeds my RSS reader is demanding me to read. But I’m not complaining; man, these student days aren’t gonna last for too long!

2009 smallSome pictures from Guy Fawkes Night

20092 small

Recession fireworks – they seemed to be shorter and to be honest, quite mediocre. I was fooling around with different angles, zooms, shutter speeds and apertures throughout the display – So with all the settings-changing taking place in between shots I only managed to capture only a few photos.


I wanted to use these 2 couples (yes, it’s actually 2 couples) as a sort of lead-in to the fireworks but now they look like just one, and homosexual, couple. I hope the girls don’t know that their boyfriends are secretly dating behind their back.

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I planned to write a post at 5am this morning, just to show how a year of “normal times”   quickly melted away to the usual cycle of late, quiet nights and terribly tired mornings that happened almost as soon as I re-entered architecture in uni. I failed, because I fell asleep just before that, which just goes to show that I am getting old……. My flat has a extremely comfortable couch. Plus I have a sofa-bed in bed mode in my living room at all times (don’t ask).  That’s bad news by itself, but at least napping without a duvet or cover of any sort will make me wake up quickly enough. The worst thing is that I get up and in my sleep-dazed mode go to my “proper” bed…

Why do I need to torture myself so? Because I can’t concentrate during the day!

This is like going back to Taylor’s! Sigh.

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