Thursday, January 31, 2013

Think of a Tree Trunk

An organic element, not only just a tree trunk, serve not a mere function.

Architecture and Design, ever since the Modern period, are simplified to respond to the zeitgeist. Technology and urgency for social housing are the two major influences on that time. The great masters of the Modernism then established several dicta that guided the Architecture of the epoch. The dicta still influences how we build until today. The dicta make sense and along the way dictated many beautiful buildings.

Simplification may need to be reevaluated, or at least it is for me. A beam and a column are a beam and a column. Let structure be structure and other appliances be appliances.
But in organic element, say like a tree trunk, it is not just a tree trunk that serve one function, as a structure that supported the tree canopy. A tree trunk provided many other function: to transport water and other growth nutrients, to allow the growth of new branches, to store water, etc.

The fact that a simple tree trunk serve many function teaches me to rethink a mono function of other elements of Architecture: a column, a beam, a roof, a space, etc.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On Architecture: Rain Falls Down on the Roof

I have not given enough thought on regard of Architecture.
The thought stroke me on my journey home, on a ferry from Singapore to Batam.

Lately, I think I have strayed around reading, learning, and thinking on anything but Architecture. I feel slightly guilty, I must confess. But Architecture is my long term plan, a destination if I may analogously make such reference. Now that I think of it, I did tell myself to take a break from Architecture, to stray around and be lost; to walk not on a straight path but choose the more uncomfortable winding route which will take me longer to reach yet enrich me with plenty of experiences and knowledge.

Justification aside, a thought hit me when I was sitting in a poorly made site office room. Horrible building, improperly maintained. I thought of a conventional practice versus radical.
When it rained, we were taught to put insulation on out roof so that heat will be lessened and the noise of the rain could also be reduced. I took such lesson, as anybody else, for granted.
Heat, of course, is not comfortable; the accumulation of heat inside the building in not sustainable, it will consume more energy therefore we use insulation to block the heat from entering our building. That is reasonable but I must remind myself that that is not the only way to insulate heat, by using a conventional insulation such as rockwool.
And what is wrong with the sound of the rain? Why do we want to reduce it while it sounds so contemplative?
The whole point I am trying to make on this post is that I should not take thing for granted because of convention. I hate that I am so blinded.
The office is not properly build, but it can still teach me Architecture.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Unconventional Approach

I could never have had a conventional career in architecture.
I think you do have to take a certain risk.
You have to make a decision when you leave school whether you are going to risk it or play it safe;
That is really fundamental, the main thing.
If you can take risks, I think it is worthwhile.
by Zaha Hadid