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Archive for February, 2010

Digressing

Today is (or was, seeing that it’s 5am Saturday now) Friday Evening.

Man, have I got plans for friday evening!!!!

Site (and Floor) Plans to draw, that is.

I ended up doing a model most of the night, which I absolutely hate cause I’m so bad at it – (I actually love models, just am absolute crap at making it. I wish my school had cheap laser cutting model services. Well actually it’ll be great if they first have a proper plotter that works 100% of the time instead of 20% and is easily accessible to all students and not hidden in some locked room somewhere in the basement, and to access it and actually print something on it requires an effort similar to searching for the holy grail. Which is why hardly anyone bothers.) By the way this post is all about digression.

Anyway, to alleviate the overwhelming desire of my mind to resist any form of work, I ended up listening to Yoshiharu Tsukamoto’s (Atelier Bow-Wow) open lectures in Barcelona on Architectural Behaviorology on Vimeo [while cutting stuff]. Being in an European environment exposes me to constant European (and Scandinavian) aesthetic and design sensibility, and it was refreshing to hear something from the other side of the world, from the near-mythical Japan, a place where a large percentage of Malaysian architecture students aspire to visit one day. I am a fan of Atelier Bow-Wow’s work, and it is nice to see them taking on bigger and bigger projects as their reputation grows. I’d say they’re more gritty and edgy than Sanaa, and I like taht :)

Becoming quite the archi-geek! shit

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Skins

Hunted around in my trove of images, prepared these few for my dissertation and thought, might as well I put them up here…

Electrical substation, Eichstatt, Germany. Dec 2009. Clad in clean and precise timber strips, it practically blinds your vision with horizontal lines when you get too close.

Ohel Jakob Synagogue, Munich, Germany. Dec 2009. Come on… YOU JUST WANNA TOUCH THIS DON’T YOU. The textures on this are incredible. Conceived as one part in a complex of three buildings, all three are clad with the same type of stone (travertine), but with different finishes. One smooth, one semi rough and one SUPER ROUGH. No prizes for guessing which this is.

Selfridges Store, Birmingham, UK. May 2009. This building needs no introduction, does it? However I just recently found out that the construction was pretty low tech. The blue stuff beneath is… guess what, plain ol’ painted concrete, and then the aluminium discs stuck on to it. So much for “future systems!” I am one of those who likes the building though.

Pyramide du Louvre, The Louvre, Paris, France. May 2009. Designed by I.M. Pei and built in 1989, this glass pyramid was so high tech that that they had to develop and design completely new systems and details just to hold it up. Bet you didn’t know that. And no, I don’t care what you read in the Da Vinci Code, but it doesn’t have 666 glass panes.

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Learning by Doing

For everything I wanted to do, and told myself “this is something interesting, to put into practice next time”, I correct and tell myself: there is no next time. There is only now. And Somehow, some way, I have to put it into practice right this moment, if i want to do it, as I will probably never get the chance to do it anymore.

On the other hand though, there is ALWAYS a next time. It all depends on the importance you impart to “this time”. A procrastinator might think the other way, but the more you give for this time, the more chances that there will be a next time.

Enlightenment arrived too late? But, you know, we learn by doing….

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It’s been a month since the last update. I think it’s been quite an interesting month.

Mostly it’s interesting because after a year out, I returned to uni to find things aren’t the same as they have been in 2007/2008. In a touchy and volatile subject like architecture can be, no two schools does things exactly the same way, and the differences between schools can sometimes get rather extreme. The fact that I didn’t do the entire program here, instead coming in halfway through, was interesting because this puts me in a sort of outlier perspective. Also, my penchant for reading just whatever happened to be in front of my eyes, especially during my year out, has lead me to absorb all sorts of recent subjects on architectural discourse.

The first semester went at rather breakneck pace, but in the short break in between the first and second semester I had time to sift through these very blurry recollections and mental images to sort of organise my position, in architectural debate, in relation to the one my school held. It can get rather hard to reconcile opinions sometimes and to do things you are not used to / don’t like.

Also, as mentioned in the first paragraph, most of my working methods were still very 2007. Of course have to update to 2010 la, such as upgrading to Windows 7! ( I like it). Also, I’m now starting to enjoy working on my laptop more than on my desktop; probably because my laptop has Windows 7 AND is faster!

Lastly, in 2007 several schools rejected my application to enter at 3rd year, citing their reason as being that they have their own specific curriculum designed over 5 years and having someone enter in the last undergrad year was just too confusing on the student (who might have been educated in a vastly different way) and on their curriculum. Most of them offered me a place in second year,. I have to say they might be right. Looking back, I have to ask myself if the year I saved was worth it. In any event, it does say a few things about my current school.

P.S. – another reason for a forced hiatus was because I stopped reading anything on the blogosphere for some time (about a month) and subsequently lost the desire to update. Starting to catch up with RSS feeds also sort of motivated me to write a quick post. Not to mention the therapeautic effect of expressing some thoughts and clearing the mind a little to have space for uni work.

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