Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Design Studio or Buildable Building Studio??

Hi Richard,

I didn't bother reading the rest of your post after you've mentioned

"if studio cant teach u to make ur fancy ideas a reality then to me, u are just
(i want to say wasting time... but i do recognise the creative juice that
happens here...)..... but yes, in a way, u are wasting time"

I personally think Design Studio is called DESIGN studio for a reason.

I'm not quite sure what you meant by designing something that can be built. You mean in terms of cost? Structurally? Client don't like crazy ideas?

If everything is designed based on what's buildable..then everything will be so boring. There won't be new new technologies. I believe that in today's world, almost nothing is too impossible to be built. Even if there's a problem building something, this is where engineers/architects work their butt of to solve the problem.

Or..tone down cuz client thinks it's too wild? Then it's just a matter of you presenting your crazy ideas to the client..and this is where you convince them. Even if the idea is rejected...fine then. This is where the tone down comes in play. But at least you did try to sell out that lil crazy idea. What if the client buys that crazy idea? Then..don't you think you'll so darn happy when your crazy ideas get to be built? You will never know man! At least you get to say 'I've tried'.

Then again..I don't quite understand what you meant by designing something that can be built.

But hey..if students should design something buildable..why not have a subject in school called buildable building studio instead of design studio??

Almost everything and anything can be built.


Richard Lee Mun Chun said...



if u are not going to read the whole post then please dont simply shoot

cos right after u stopped thts where the answer lies... and cos u didnt continue reading, u dunno where i am coming from

so here it is


OR if you wanna explore this fancy all means go ahead.... but dont stop at designing... find out how to realize it....

cos unfortunately, that is usually the case... ppl will have fancy ideas... nice to look at... but then u look closer... u will realize that the designer had no idea how to really make it happen... again another paper architecture.... not that there is anything wrong.... just a bit pointless sometimes....


so HELLO... i am not saying only design what can be built... i am saying if u wanna be crazy by all means... but learn how will it be built... becos if u dont... and end up going out to practice and designing other stuff... then u are just wasting ur time...

if u wanna be crazy... go ahead... but be ready to bring it all the way... even into practice... thts all im saying...

SO PLS READ P-R-O-P-E-R-L-Y next time before u comment..

all ur doing now is making half informed statements

- DaNieL - said...

when i said i didnt wanna read anymore..i stopped at ur 1300 words manifesto. didnt wanna bore myself with it.

so yeah..i did read properly.

I do get ur point but design studio is where u practice how to generate urself with ideas. Why on earth would u even want to worry about how it's gonna be built?

I dun think that's even the objective of design studios. Like i've mentioned..there's a reason why it's called DESIGN studio.

This is why Taylors introduced industrial training as a subject on my intake because it's an exposure to the working life. Designing something that is buildable can't really be taught in school. It is something you learn and pick up once you start working.

And I'm sure everyone will learn that and will apply what they've learnt when they pursue on to do their masters..cuz industrial training is required!

What can be built and what can't be built..I don't think anyone will be so silly and design something huge and be supported by a 300x300mm column rite? There's a little thing called common sense which anyone and everyone knows.

So no one is going to work once they've finish their studies and go "Ahhh!?? Can't design like that? Haa?? Can't be built ahh?" cuz anyone who did their industrial training would know what to expect

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

and to add to that...

u saying 'almost everything and anything can be built' just only stands to prove my point...

if we truly believe that, then let's start working towards it...

if u wanna design crazy, then prove to urself it can be built.. dont just design now and later in practice tone down because u dunno how to build it....

it's time we get out of our narrow confines of ideology and into the broad fresh air of the real world...

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

haha.. friend... everything u are saying... i get u

but u just dont get what i am trying to say...

it's okay...=)

maybe someone can paraphrase for me, or just continue to not understand me, can la, watever la...

KS said...

It's time we get out of the narrow confines of 'real world' and into the broad fresh air of crazy far-fetched contemplations on 'living/reality' (in response to ur cultural sustainability).
The current real world u are in is largely made up of problematic phenomenon caused by the generation's excessive, unrealistic wants. If u're talking about making all ur effort to fit into it, you're joining the course of intensifying the problems.

What do u think Archigram came from and how much they've influenced a generation of architects? n how many of those fancy drawings did not get built? The potential of 'impossible' ideas doesnt lie in its buildability but the directions it suggests towards solving today's problems, whether it looks back or forward. Indirectly it may influence all architects of the future to build YOUR bluddy idea. The inspirational quality worth a thousand times more than u still insist that they're sometimes pointless?

Plus, don't just look at what happened to those architects that u pity, understand the why they kept to their ways despite all the craps, i don't think they were less aware of it than u and me. Who are we to decide who deserves what? The ability to do and believe in what you do, is priceless.

I have to agree with your manifesto, but it just isn't clear how you can do it, it's like your 1300th word stops at the point of making the critical decision. If your studying the common, normal 'houses' of now and try to design to fit into it, following the idea of wutever 4 elements, u're just continuing the problem.
To fit in or to criticize, this is The question. I suggest you make an extra study of 'living' without 'house' in your mind.

I'm actually sad that the modern human has lost much imagination due to overly embracing 'realities'.

KS said...

The problems may be as simple as you claim, it doesn't mean the contemplation process and solution should be as simple.
Don't try to simplify things when they're complicated. Ie. simple diagrams that make so much sense don't mean they're correct, even if they are, they often missed out a lot minor issues.

When i'm saying criticize, I mean not just criticize whether a building is appropriate; what I really mean is to question to the very fundamentals of living. Criticize your four(maybe more) elements.

ocaender said...

What a discussion. So KS's questions about a possible collective stance of the tutors at SABD towards grades and standards have been answered by Mr.Ian/ and we are now veering towards a spinoff discussion started by Richard?

It feels as though Richard dragged us sideways in order to proudly present his manifesto, complete with goodworkremark from tutor.

And then we get the "Do you know that-?" several times. We've done some industrial training. We've read about Design-Build at Tulane. We love reading that Kahn was such a stud. We watched the documentary about the cuts off an orange. We've read Breaking Ground.

If it is about exposure, thank you and we've all got some going. But we are all going to end up sitting in our shorts (oh, i am) spewing truisms and personal philosophies at each other. (Not that we don't mind sharing) Then we end up at "yes your philosophy, but MY philosophy!"

I would very much like to see a case study where we can discuss the points discussed, maybe a higher level design (like the giant mirror box on the water, loved that conceptually) which could be culturally engaging, structurally possible, commercially viable, and so on and so forth.(holy all encompassing) Then we might have a common point of reference to this discussion.

I suggest that Richard shows us some of his relevant work that incorporates his four elements of [root&identity], [space&program], [politics], [technology]. Or is it 6 elements. Or is it just pragmatic zeitgenius loci. (Actually it's a thinly disguised request for more glimpses of Melbourne U.) Then we might discuss based on this point of reference, and allow for a deeper kind of show-and-tell as well. And we will all get the point thereafter and ever, amen.

ian ng said...

nice summary and suggestion of a case study, oca; and good postings All. sorry for my silence... i'll grab some time later to say some.

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...


this is getting exciting..!!

hey guys... no worries u know, i am all open and willing to be corrected...but sometimes it is worth arguing as well no? lol

ok a quick one before i run off (got a seminar to attend)

1) it's culture, lifestyle, politics and technology, 4 elements... the manifesto was actually translated into a built form so it was easier to read in that built form... but anyway...

2) no, i didnt purposefully wanna show my manifesto... but i thought since we are at it, what the heck rite? and it generated much discussion.. im happy... haha

3) no... i do not think i should open up ... (and quite frankly, u can put that phrase 'open up' to rest... p.s.- i dont hate u too =).....)

btw the phrase 'from the narrow confines of ideology to the broad fresh air of the real world' is not coined by me... i just cant rmb the name now... i will let u guys know later...

4) yes... exactly.... manifestos are not meant to tell u wat to do... it's not a manual... it's more like a proposal of a final destination and is always open for discussion and debate, like now..=)

5) and no, i am not jamming down my ideals into ur throats... if i am, then this wouldn't be up for discussion...just that i am passionate about what i believe in, so if i ever come on too strong, sorry guys... tht wasnt the intention at all...=) but its fun to talk about such things, no? haha... but now the sems are starting, i thnk everyone will be bz....

6) well ocaender,i dont mind posting up my works here...but bare in mind that all these cultural sustainability thing... is a recent development... super recent... so yea... havent really got a chance to test it out yet... =(

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

and i am going to try out these ideas in this coming studio to see what comes out of it...=)

and about Melb Uni... just know that it aint that high and mighty after all...haha... but good place to go to... i m yet to hear from my fren who will be going to UK this sept... they might have something better to say about their Unis...

for now, Melb Uni is just alrite... if you are doing well in taylor's u will do well here..=)

Blu3_Darren said...

Well, I'm not sure...
Had been doing some readings on articles online...
Just feel like the discussion here, it's what been discussed again and again out there. Anyway, it's all good. for self exploration.

Build able or not, that's not the main prob, coz there are always factors that lead them to somewhere.

I think everyone should ask themselves, what's the fantasy achievement as an architect going-to-be, in your heart.
Everyone's different, you won't agree with everyone of them. I'm sure of it.

-Design the impossibles.. And wish someday it can be built.
-Design the impossibles..Will be built or not, don't care.
-Design what clients want, creative, buildable.
-Design things that work, clients are important, creative, buildable.
-and etc you fill the blanks.

If you see through your opponents' or friends' ideal goal, You will even be more open to accept things, instead of stages of debating, and arguments, and defending.

No matter what path you choosing, we are basically trained to deal with them, with innovation, with our creativity. All sorts of knowledge come in at the junction. And we do the good matching to present them.

If you want to be practical, that's good.
But do always understand, sometimes, we holding up the glossy mag, saying "fuck this Gehry..or Zaha or etc..disasterousblablabla"

Practically ask yourself again, "so what.they are those glossy architects. they doing well."
That's the fact.

If you are the going the fantasy type, great as well. You won't bother what im trying to say, so, do your stuff.

Till this point, you might question me what is good architecture.
Heck I won't answer you. As long as you enjoy the progress, the idea interesting and brilliant, that's good. Tons of factors lead you to the idea. I won't say they are bad, it's just you don't agree with it, that says it is bad.

No matter they ended up cube box, round balls, or penis waving kind of architecture, they can be good to different categories of people.

Practically, what I think, critically to put those stuffs in the good categories, is the site analysis, and how you design the building by observing the surrounding, orientation, sun path and etc factors that make a building works, with enogh flexibility for future change and planning.

As a student, in this industry, i would say, if you know what you want to be in the future already, focus and go your way.
If still exploring, wandering, trying this and that.
Go fantasy and innovative way 1st, as it will still train your brain to work creatively. The ability will help, no matter what you become eventually.

KS said...

- nah i don't really think he intentionally dragged us sideways, he's experienced our scary 'aggressiveness' not too long ago, lol.

- i don't care who coined that phrase, what i care is the content of the phrase itself. and also When was it said by the someone.

- the last-minute call for 'cultural sustainability' is super recent, but the content has been there in our ethics of being an architects for ages. We've all been taught about it. All architectural developments throughout history tackled the points u stated. It's easy to say what we should achieve, the question is HOW?
Then what's the point of that manifesto? re-stating a common sense..

KS said...

can i suggest that you moderate the course of discussions from here onwards~?

I kinda got my questions answered quite some time ago n i don't really care much about this one now. Somehow it should be directed n i see u hv an idea how to.

ocaender said...

I am experiencing a heavy fatigue regarding architectural philosophy now. I've read it all before, albeit possibly without a whole understanding or exposure to certain things. And I think we've all read it all before too, and we are repeating them to each other ad infinitum. Which is not a great problem because we are filling in the cracks. It's just tiresome to me because I switch off when someone is trying to tell me the sky is blue but not always.

And I kinda feel that there is a higher level of feeling/thinking (how do we ever separate the two, really) than what I am doing now, which I have to wait for in the form of experience or getting struck by lightning. ( I could strike the lottery!) I will be going round and round in my head until I am resigned to my fate of un-understanding until I can understand. Why oh Why.

Therefore I have not much to say when I want to say something, because it is nothing new. ( Not with the lecturers however,it's a 'I know they know, but they need to know that I know' sort of thing)

But I can say we will not achieve much talking, not only because of the endless circle, but because it has all been said before by much more qualified people (etc, those people we love quoting). How now?

Oh How now.(expanding on a comment by KS) We could concentrate on closing in on the How instead of Why. The link I saw that connects this thread of thought to KS's original question to Mr.Ian ( however fantastically) is the questions about the structure of the education plan in the SABD ( I am so proud of my puns)

We've established roughly what defines good design ( not our own definition duhduhduh, it should be 'roughly established'). Could we talk about how to put these things into practice, specifically in Studio work with a educational angle>? We could go into processes, methodologies and so on and so forth. Basically I am asking you all to show off your work (or someone elses) but for the noble purpose of explaining how you got there, why it succeeds, where it doesn't. (or this is happening in some form already)

I have said alot (ugh) and I am also quite sure of the effect of the holy semester starting. I thought this blog was for Mr.Ian to provide after hours instruction and advice to his studio ( and the rest of us are kay-pohing around) but the side discussions could turn into seasonal pollution ( yea, expect more of the same!)if they do not inform future discourse.

I requested some examples from Richard because he seems to be the most senior of the students here.(or he broke the record for most consecutive posts in a day) If we start at all, we could start with that. Don't shy away from proving your manifesto.