Monday, March 28, 2011

Giving Up, Fighting Back

You should give up architecture. You're not any good with it and I don't see any potential in you being a decent architect. I would rather you give up not and find what really like than force yourself doing what you don't like for the rest of your life. Moreover, we already have a lot of bad architects out there, we don't need any addition to that.

... (speechless)

Do you see your problem?


You did not fight back. If my statements were a test, then you've failed.
I told you to give up architecture but you remained reactionless.
If I were to tell you to give up your life, you are a useless person, kill yourself because the world doesn't need you. You will not remain so reactionless, will you?
You will probably tell me, "Screw you!"
You fought back because you know this is your life and this is You. It is not anyone else's decision to mess with your own life. Hence, you fight for yourself.

But architecture is not you, it's not your life. Hence, when I told you to give it up, you did not fight back. Becoming an architect has yet been your decision. You have yet the conviction to be one. You need to find your ground to stand.
If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for everything.
There will always be people telling you: you're not good, you should not do this, you're not talented, you're ugly, etc. I don't think their opinions are important, but how you would react to those opinions is.


This is not to talk you down.
This is to make you think,
to make you reflect,
meditate, and contemplate.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Light and Darkness: The Search

Light is an amazing element in architecture. If you can control the light, you can control how people feel inside a space.

When I consider light in architecture, I like to think of Caravaggio. A genius painter on the control of light and dark in his paintings. He highlighted scenes in his paintings to create a theatrical effect by manipulating light and darkness. He told a story with such control and the paintings captivate whoever looking at them.
It is such an idea of light manipulation that I really like, controlling the light to tell a story and create an anticipation and climax in architecture.

But above we can't speak of light without darkness. Light and darkness is equally important.
How can we appreciate light without darkness?
What will light be without darkness?
Is darkness really an opposite of light?
Does darkness exist or darkness is just an absent of light?
How can we know how much light or darkness is enough in order to create a scene?

The questions of light and darkness continues on. The greatness does not lie on the answer, but in the process of searching for answer. One must contemplate and meditate searching for the answer, in doing so our thought are trained.
Therefore, it is important for us to keep exploring and trying something new.
Let us not settle to our comfort zone in this search.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

People's Opinion

Grades are just people's opinion on you.
Ken Choo

My second year's teacher at Singapore Polytechnic, Ken, once told us in his class that grades are just people's opinion on us. This statement is not universally true. For instance, if you were doing a maths question and you got it wrong hence your teacher grade you down. That doesn't mean your teacher has a bad opinion on you, it just means you are wrong.
But the statement certainly holds true for design related grading, which is very subjective. Most of my teacher tried to convince us that they were being objective during the critique, but how can that be? I am not convinced and I don't think critique should be objective. It should be subjective, because I believe that we should judge a design based on our perception and our opinion. I can't imagine anything more boring that during critique one teacher agreeing with the others. I somehow feel that they are too afraid to offend the others opinion than they just go with it even though they don't share the same opinion with the other teachers.

When Ken told us grades are just people's opinion, he meant to be supportive and he didn't want grades to bring us down. After all, people have their own opinion every time and everywhere on what we wear, what we are doing, how we should behave, etc. We should not give a damn to those harmful opinions. Because if we give a damn of every single thing people said to us, we will end up doing nothing, we will end up being a crowd-pleaser, we will end up going nowhere.
But don't know whether Ken realized it not, because he is also saying that people who grade you down mean they have a bad opinion on you. Hence, grades are also means for us to see whether people like us or not. It is a way for us to see them they way they see us.

Well, whatever what people's opinion on us, we should not let ourselves be content or brought down. We should always aim higher and fight to be better.
The moment we feel content, we are done, we will not get anywhere.
The moment we feel brought down, we are done, we will not get anywhere.

For me, bad opinions are motivating, they empowers me to prove those who look down on me that they are wrong.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Brief History of Me

I was raised in a country-like hometown, I am very lucky.
I have a wonderful family. Back then in my hometown, we lived in a community of huge family, my grandparents, my parents, and all my siblings were all living in the same location. It was fun, growing up in my hometown was like living in a paradise: no pain, no reality, no problem to face.

During the 90's, most of us (my family and siblings) went to Batam, a small island south of Singapore. Batam was not as urbanized as Singapore, but to a small town boy like me, it was a whole new world. It was quite a shock and exciting at the same time to have this new experience. Cars and streetlights were everywhere. Chinese and the Muslims were every where.

Then during the year 2005 and 2009, I am fortunate to have live in Malaysia for one year and Singapore up until today.
It was in Malaysia that I met some of the greatest people in my life, friends that really helped me to get through loneliness, to share laughter, and partnering in crimes. Perhaps it was such experience that cause me to have a fond memory towards Malaysia.

Then here I am in Singapore, one of the cleanest and safest place in the world. I like Singapore, and I like everywhere that I have been to.